The play, which occurred late in the fourth quarter when Embiid’s hand hit Raptors center Marc Gasol in the face when the two were jostling for a rebound of a free throw, earned Embiid his third flagrant foul point of these playoffs.
“I mean it’s annoying, it’s stupid,” Embiid said after Thursday’s game. “I feel like the one in Brooklyn should be rescinded and tonight, it’s just basketball. I didn’t mean to do it. I just happened to hit him in the face I guess and didn’t mean to do it.
“It just happened. A lot of things like that happen. I got hit in the face in the first half by Pascal [Siakam] but kind of like the same situation that wasn’t a flagrant. I saw the video of it, I mean it doesn’t look that bad. … It’s tough. I guess I get one more and I’m gone for one game. So I got to look out for it, but that’s definitely, this one and in the one in Brooklyn that I feel like I didn’t deserve.”
Embiid picked up flagrant 1 fouls in both Game 2 and Game 4 of Philadelphia’s first-round victory over the Brooklyn Nets — both times for hitting Nets center Jarrett Allen. In Game 2, he elbowed Allen in the head while Embiid was executing a post move on offense. In Game 4, Embiid fouled Allen while Allen attempted a layup, which led to an on-court skirmish that resulted in the ejections of Sixers star Jimmy Butler and Nets forward Jared Dudley.
When a player reaches four flagrant-foul points, he earns an automatic one-game suspension. Each subsequent flagrant point after that earns an additional one-game suspension.
So if Embiid picks up a flagrant 1 in Game 7 Sunday in Toronto, and the Sixers were to win, he would have to sit out Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals in Milwaukee Wednesday. If he were to get a flagrant two, he would have to sit out Games 1 and 2.
If Embiid gets a flagrant in Game 7 and Philadelphia loses, he’ll serve the suspension in the first game (or games) for which he is healthy and able to play in the 2019-20 regular season.