If Ben Simmons doesn’t somehow amazingly develop a jump shot before Saturday’s game in Philly, the 76ers are going to lose this series. I know saying this will get me in trouble with my hometown, but that doesn’t stop the words from being true. The 76ers played the exact type of game they hoped to play last night and still ended up losing the game. The 76ers even jumped out to a huge lead by playing the way they wanted to play. Just like they’ve been doing all season, the 76ers ended up blowing a huge lead. They were able to overcome that a lot of times in the regular season. The playoffs are a completely different deal. Boston is a good team that has balanced scoring. They also play great defense. Those careless habits the 76ers have are being exposed big time by a good team like Boston. Turnovers, sloppy handling of the ball, missed open shots, even questionable coaching at times. Why didn’t Brett brown call a timeout when the Celtics went on a huge 2nd quarter run? What the f*ck was he saving the timeouts for? Even with all of that going on, nothing or nobody has been exposed more than Ben Simmons lack of confidence in his jump shot. Celtics defenders don’t even play him close out on the perimeter. They’re daring him to shoot it, which he won’t. Then when he drives, the Celtics simply clog up the inside, giving Simmons nowhere to go with the ball. Boston has been very effective in this strategy. Ben Simmons had 1 point last night. ONE! That is unacceptable from your superstar player. It’s impossible for the 76ers to beat Boston with this type of effort from Ben.
The Celtics once again got nice efforts out of their core 3 of Horford, Tatum, and “Scary” Terry Rozier. Horford went for 13 pts and 12 reb, Tatum dropped 21 points, and “Scary” Terry added 20 pts, 7 reb. and 9 ast. Boston also got solid contributions from Marcus Smart (19 pts 5 reb), and bench palyers Marcus Morris (11 pts. 6 reb.) and Jaylen Brown (13 pts.). J.J Reddick led the way for the 76ers with 23 points. Joel Embiid had a nice night on his way to a 20 pts. and 14 rebs effort. And Robert Covington added 22 points and 9 rebounds. It was nice to see Covington get back on track. I can’t forget to mention T.J Mcconnell who had a nice game too. He played 17 minutes, most of which came when coach Brett brown sat Ben Simmons for long stretches in the 3rd and 4th qtr. TJ finished with 8 points and 5 assist. Check out some of the highlights from last night’s game below:
Video Courtesy: Rapid Highlights