One had to know that 76ers center Joel Embiid would respond to Dallas Maverick center Nerlens Noel saying he was “going to come at” Embiid in Saturday night’s game at American Airlines Center.

So Embiid had a message for his best friend when they met Saturday morning in between the team’s shootarounds at the arena.

“I told him, ‘I’m going to cook your a–,’” Embiid said. “We are going to see. It’s going to be a fun battle.”

The Sixers franchise player said that Noel laughed and responded, “We are going to see.”

“But he knows what happened in those practices,” said Embiid, referring to last season’s Sixers practices before Noel was traded to Dallas in February.

The Sixers shipped him to Dallas in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and two second-round picks.

On Thursday, Noel said he was geared up to face Embiid. He wasn’t concerned that his 6-foot-11, 214-poind frame is shorter and lighter than Embiid’s frame, which is 7-2 and closer to 290.

“Oh, yeah, I’m going to come at him,” Noel said. “Come at him. I think we are going to have a great competition, great battle, just like we used to in practice.”

Embiid thinks the Mavs will double-team him and play zone defense.