The 76ers started the season 0-1 after falling in Boston, 105-87. This performance showed major weaknesses against the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
Where’s the shot?
It felt like last season’s playoff series all over again. The 76ers couldn’t hit any outside shots for most of the game.
Even more disappointing was shooting 58.3 percent from the free-throw line. They missed 10 free throws in just 24 attempts with Ben Simmons missing six of them.
In today’s NBA, you need to make shots to keep up with the elite teams in the league. The 76ers weren’t close to good enough in that department.
The return of Fultz
Markelle Fultz was heavily involved in the game during the first half registering 21 minutes. He showed some positives on both ends but struggled creating space. The 76ers were outscored by 12 when Fultz was in the game in the first half.
Fultz played just three minutes in the second half and finished with five points, three rebounds and two assists. He needs to show improvement or Redick will be inserted back into the starting lineup soon.
Despite all the negatives, Simmons played well and was the best player on the court for the 76ers.
Simmons attacked the Celtics defense for the entire game. He wasn’t afraid to shoot several 12-foot jumpers and got to the free throw line 11 times. Even though Simmons did not hit an outside shot, he showed a willingness to shoot them, which is an improvement from last season.
Eventually those mid-range jumpers will fall for him.
Meanwhile Joel Embiid did his normal thing finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds. But this isn’t a game to remember for him.
He committed way too may turnovers and failed to recognize double-teams at the right time. Embiid and his teammates were not on the same page when cutting to the basket and the pick-and-roll.
They made Embiid look silly several times while taking Embiid away from his strong suit on defense, protecting the rim.
It’s not time to panic
This wasn’t a good game to start to the season but it’s not time to trade Fultz and fire Brett Brown.
The Celtics are a better team. Period. There’s no shame in losing to a top-two team in the NBA.
Give this team time to get healthy and figure out the best way to utilize their rotation pieces. This will be a fun team to watch all year. Don’t let game one ruin the rest.
The 76ers home opener is tomorrow against the Chicago Bulls on TNT.
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