Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart aired some complaints about Joel Embiid's style of play Wednesday, accusing the star center of embellishing contact during the Philadelphia 76ers' 117-109 win over the Celtics.
Embiid, however, disagreed with Smart's assessment of his game while making the same criticisms of the Celtics guard.
"Marcus Smart just told me that I flail a lot?" Embiid said postgame, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "Come on. I'm sure he knows himself, and he knows his game, too, he does a lot of that. And I don't think I do. I mean, if you watch basketball and if you're a student of the game and if you actually pay attention during the game, we all see.
"Every single foul, I get fouled. ... The game is physical. Other teams tend to try to be extra physical against me. And I guess I'm just smarter than everybody else. ... I just take advantage of how they're guarding me.
"You can call that, I don't know, basketball IQ, like if you're going to put your hand up there, I'm gonna take advantage of it and I'm gonna get to the free-throw line because I know that I'm a great free-throw shooter, and that's a better chance for me to help the team win."
If getting to the foul line was his goal, Embiid succeeded. The Cameroonian shot 17-for-21 on free throws en route to 42 points Wednesday, giving him 40-plus points for the second time in his last three games.
The Celtics, meanwhile, attempted just 20 free throws as a team, converting 13 of them.
Smart suggested officials weren't calling fouls equally between the teams.
"It is tough," Smart said. "Especially when we've got our hands up a lot of the times, and he flails and gets the call, and then down on the other end, we've got our guys attacking the rim, getting a lot of contact and we're just not getting the whistle. It's tough to play like that. It's tough.
"If the roles were reversed, I'd do it every time. I mean, I'd be on too if every time I threw my arms up or every time I got touched I'm going to the free-throw line. I mean, it's kind of hard not to get into a rhythm that way when you shoot 21 free throws alone and they allow you to hack on the other end."
The two teams meet again Friday in Philadelphia.