The Boston Celtics coming off an emotional Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night defeated the Philadephia Sixers 117-101 on Monday night to take a 1-0 series lead. The Celtics who had one day in between to prepare for a team that was leading the postseason in a points/gm 114.2 holding them to 13 points under their average. The Celtics despite having one day off and the Sixers not haven’t played since last Tuesday still look the team with more energy.
Photo By: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
There was no drop off for the Celtics from Saturday night for the guys who were major factors in that Game 7 win over the Bucks. Terry Rozier once again not looking like a back scoring a team high 29 points and hitting 7 of his 9 three point attempts. He is looking like a starting guard in this league and is making a name for himself, and not just the “back-up” to All-Star Kyrie Irving.
Rookie Jayson Tatum is playing like a Rookie of the Year candidate and a player the Sixers were not able to contain. He scored 28 points on 8-16 shooting posting guys and beating them off the dribble left and right. He also shot 11-12 from the free throw line. All-Star Al Horford also was a matchup problem for the Sixers and was able to stretch the floor and make big shots and was not intimidated by the potential Defenisive Player of the Year in Joel Embiid. He scored 26 points and missed just two shots the entire night.
The Celtics were by far the better team tonight and had 3 of the best 4 players in this game. They did a fantastic job staying true to what Coach Brad Stevens implemented. If they continue to play like this they’ll be tough to beat for anyone.
Photo By: Associated Press
The Sixers who came into this game as one of the premier three point shooting teams did not have that on display tonight. They shot 5-26 (19.2%) and did not get clean looks all night. The Celtics ran them off the three and dared them to put the ball on the ground and make plays, and they just didn’t seem comfortable doing so. They were led by their All-Star Joel Embiid who had a game high 31 points and 13 rebounds. He was the Sixers best player and most productive and seemed to be the only one who was able to create his own shot.
Ben Simmons did not quite have the impact he expected to have despite scoring 18 points, and having 7 rebounds and 6 assist. He just didn’t look as comfortable and the Sixers did not allow him to make the highlight plays he had in the previous series. The impact Simmons has to have in this is imminent, he must be the catalyst for this team. There can be no sub par games from him. Period.
Game 2: Thursday 5/3 5:30 PT
What To Watch For: Will Philly be able to make plays if three's aren't falling?
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