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April 18, 2019

Nets guard calls Sixers' Embiid, Simmons 'disrespectful' for laughing about elbow shot

NBA Playoffs
Levert Embiid NBA Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) on a dunk attempt during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets are even at one game apiece as the playoff series shifts to the Barclays Center on Thursday night.

It's starting to look like this matchup may turn into a rivalry in the years to come — and this moment may be one to remember. 

Several Nets players, including guard Caris LeVert, said they were not happy with the way Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons laughed about the hard elbow Embiid delivered to Jarrett Allen's face in Game Two.

RELATED: Sixers getting slightly healthier as series shifts to Brooklyn

During the postgame press conference, Embiid apologized for the elbow, but he and Simmons couldn't help but laugh at it.

"We thought that was kind of disrespectful, especially after the elbow he threw," LeVert told ESPN's Ian Begley during Wednesday's media availability. "It is what it is. There's no love lost. It's a playoff series. We expect that."

Forward Jared Dudley echoed that sentiment. 

Some have argued that Embiid, who was called for a flagrant 1, should have been ejected from the game, particularly when the elbow is compared to the shove that got Pistons center Andre Drummond ejected from a game the other night. Others, including TNT's Shaquille O'Neal, have defended Embiid's play as an example of incidental contact from what centers are taught to do in the post. 

Brooklyn hardly needs added fuel to try to pull the first round upset over Philadelphia. But these comments and the level of competition thus far suggest this series could get chippy over the next week.