PHILADELPHIA – Jeff Teague watches a lot of wrestling. He never misses an event from the WWE. He’s also an 11-year NBA veteran. It’s safe to say Teague has seen his share of fights. So how would rate the one between Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid on Wednesday?
“That was weak,” Teague said. “That was a baby one.”
But it’s one that may still have reverberations for the Wolves.\
Turning to a more serious note, Teague had perhaps the most revealing quote of the night when it came to the fight. A quote the illuminated how far Karl-Anthony Towns has come as a leader and where he’s at compared to a season ago.
“As you can see tonight, he’s got a lot of fight in him,” Teague said. “Last year, I wouldn’t say he wouldn’t do that or he would’ve took it, but he’s here to make a statement. I think tonight it just showed a lot of heart.
“I’m riding with him.”
While Towns tried to downplay the fight after the game, his teammates took more from the incident than he might have said.
“It was just our attitude, man,” Josh Okogie said. “We’re not going to be run over. We didn’t want the outcome we have. But we’re going to be tough.”
There may be more discipline headed Towns’ way after the fight. But if it did something else, perhaps it served noticed that this is a different Towns and a different Wolves team – with Towns as their unquestioned leader.
The Wolves weren’t as enthused with their effort on the court Wednesday, as the 76ers dominated for most of the night.
Their length, with Al Horford and Embiid up front and the 6-10 Ben Simmons at point guard, gave the Wolves fits. They won’t be alone in that this season. Philadelphia is likely to be one of the best defensive teams in the league because of that length, which grabbed 56 rebounds to the Wolves’ 34.
Okogie said the Wolves weren’t playing themselves. Teague said the 76ers had something to do with that.
“You really have to adjust to the way they play, to be honest, because they’re so big but they’re also athletic and fast and they can all guard pretty much one through four,” Teauge said. “Al has the ability to get on the perimeter and guard guards. You got to adjust to the way they play. Kind of hard to play small ball against him.”
And the Wolves like to play small ball with Robert Covington at the four. The 76ers just overwhelmed them.