Celtics Lose Opener to Sixers, 107-93

Nobody actually believed the Celtics was going to storm into Philadelphia and steal a win on opening night. And they didn’t. On the bright side, Philly didn’t dominate either. Don’t let the final score fool you, the Celtics had numerous chances to gain control of this contest. They played excellent defense, hustled non-stop. Where the Celtics looked fine tuned on defense, they looked absolutely rusty on offense. Seemingly easy near the basket attempts bounces off the rim, and the Celtics from the free throw line were miserable to say the least. Boston shot a horrendous 20 of 34 from the line. Ironically, they lost by 14. 107 to 93.

The referees were merciless. Every half-second it felt a whistle was blown.

Newcomer Enes Kanter did pretty well, given all we know about his limitations. He held his own against Embiid. Kanter chipped in a respectable 12 points and 6 rebounds. Kanter gave a full effort, paid attention to detail and I think even Stevens was in awe because he rode Kanter for so long he had to close the game with Daniel Theis.

Kanter did go 2 of 7 from the charity stripe.

You can point to missed free throws, of which Boston missed many, but Stevens is guilty of mismanagement. To put it bluntly: too much Carsen Edwards, not enough Brad Wanamaker and Grant Williams. I think Edwards will shake off this poor debut. But the lights were too bright for him tonight. Williams, however, was physical, wasn’t phased in the slightest. Stevens needs to give him more time in the future. The Celtics cannot win games trying to outshoot the opponent. Every game has to look like this Philly contest. Ugly rock fights. We have 81 of those left.

Kanter and Grant Williams will be crucial to winning these contests. Most of the damage Philly inflicted was coming off Boston either shooting themselves in the foot, or becoming victims of the bounce. Eventually, the ball HAS to bounce in favor of the green team more often than not. Tobias Harris was Philly’s best rebounder with 15. Embiid followed him with 13. Al Horford only had 2. But to Philly’s credit, they dominated the boards. Out rebounding the C’s 62-41. You’re not winning many games when you’re giving out second chance points like candy.

Defensively the Celtics bested Philly up and down. Forcing 15 turnovers. Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris turned it over 4 times a piece. Simmons did put up 24, Tobi 15.

Kemba Walker struggles mightily against the defensive front of Philly. Scoring only 12 points on 4 of 18 shooting. Likely, the culprit of this performance is rust. He didn’t look a step slow or out of place. Just simply wasn’t his night. The shortened pre-season didn’t help Walker still shaking out the cobwebs.

On the optimistic front, Gordon Hayward quietly looked like his old self. 25 points, off of 15 shots, 5 rebounds and 2 dimes. He lead the game in points scored.  Tatum was 2nd in scoring on his team with 21. Despite grumblings Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” still influenced the third-year Duke star, Tatum’s shots came primarily near the basket or from beyond the arc. He was aggressive, which is something we should encourage from him if the shot selection is right. Though Tatum finished 8 of 22, it does seem better days are ahead.

Jaylen Brown fell into foul trouble early and played just 20 minutes. He attempted just 6 shots, scoring 8.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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