Al Horford
Do the 76ers have an Al Horford problem? The numbers suggest that’s the case (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Does any team own another like the Celtics own the 76ers? Since the 2014-2015 season, the Celtics are now 21-3 against the 76ers. The Celtics, of course, won again Tuesday night. Talk about an absolute ass beating? Hell, even the Dolphins are doing better than that against the Patriots. What’s the answer behind the 76ers struggles when they see the gang green on the floor? The answer may just be Al Horford.

The Celtics center has done nothing except give the 76ers problems. We have all been there. If you ever competed in any sort of sport, you know that some people just have your number and some people you own. There’s no real explanation behind it. Sometimes styles make fights. For whatever reason, Al Horford owns Joel Embiid.

That’s a far cry from what Embiid puts up on a nightly basis. There are times when I watch Embiid, I’m convinced he could be the best player in the sport. For whatever reason, Horford gives Embiid serious problems. To Embiid’s credit, earlier this season he said that the Celtics are not the 76ers rivalry. How could they be when the Celtics win every single time? This time, Embiid came out with an odd response:

“He’s not doing anything,” Embiid said when asked about being guarded by Horford. “I was sleep-walking for three quarters, and that’s on me.

“Like I said, that’s on me. It had nothing to do with anybody.”

C’mon dude. I usually love the typical Embiid sound bite but this one feels wrong. Not putting in effort? Sleep-walking during a game against the Celtics? I love Embiid but that’s weak. Beyond weak.

Again, Horford was the Celtics glue guy. He still can’t rebound a lick. What Horford can do is score and defend Joel Embiid. During a playoff series, that sounds like it’s going to be enough to beat the 76ers again. For whatever reason, the Celtics own the 76ers. That’s not going to change unless Embiid can start winning the battle against Al Horford.