The Knicks’ complaints about the dirty play in Game 3 do not go away

While some Knicks players suggested they expected the officiating in Game 3 to favor the Sixers after how Game 2 ended, they took exception to Embiid’s foul on Mitchell Robinson in the first quarter. After Embiid fell to the floor on defense, he grabbed Robinson’s legs as the Knicks center attempted to get up for a layup attempt (video link). Donte DiVincenzo called it a “dirty” play, while Josh Hart said Robinson was lucky to avoid a significant injury.

“I’m all for hard fouls, hard fouls in the playoffs, but it’s something that can knock a guy out for a significant period of time,” Hart said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “So we’re fortunate that he wasn’t seriously hurt during that time.”

Embiid — who was called for a flagrant 1 foul on the play, rather than the flagrant 2 foul that would have ended his night — explained to reporters after the game that he had “flashbacks” to a play early on this year when Jonathan Kuminga fell to his knees. He said he wanted to avoid a repeat of that incident.

“I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” Embiid said. “I just… in those situations I have to protect myself, because I’ve been in too many situations where I’m always the recipient of the bad end.”

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