I’ll give them credit, the 76ers showed some heart last night. After getting their one game back in Philly and avoiding a sweep, I kind of felt like the 76ers would come out last night and lay an egg. Coming back from a 3-0 series deficit would’ve been a steep hill to climb, and I wasn’t sure that this 76ers team had something like that in them. Not against this red-hot Celtics team. I was right about that part, but I was wrong about the type of effort the 76ers would give in Boston down 3-1. The 76ers could’ve actually won this game. The same could be said of at least three of the five games the 76ers played against the Celtics in this series. The problem is that this young 76ers team has a lot of places where they need to be better if they hope to be competitive in the playoffs. The 76ers, as a team has no bigger issue to work on than late game ball control. The carelessness that has plagued this team all season was finally their ultimate demise. In the regular season, the team got away with blowing big leads a lot of times, but the playoffs are a different season. A lesson I’m sure this young team will learn.
76ERS 112 –
The Celtics pulled out the victory in a game that was close and very competitive all night. Boston was led by Jason Tatum who dropped in 25 pts. Jaylen Brown had another solid night on his way to a 24 pts. effort. The Celtics had six players who scored in double digits last night (Horford 15, Tatum 25, Baynes 13, Rozier 17, Brown 24, Smart 14). It was an all-around solid outing by the Boston Celtics as they closed out a tough 76ers team in front of a rowdy Boston crowd. Dario Saric and Joel Embiid led the way for the 76ers, both dropping in 27 pts and adding double digit rebounds (10, 12). The 76ers season is over, but the future of this team is very bright. As a matter of fact, the future of both of these teams are very bright. The 76ers – Celtics matchup is going to quickly become a rivalry that may match the brutal Boston – Philly rivalry of the 80’s. Anyone old enough to remember those days knows that this is a good thing for the entire NBA. The best thing about that, is most of the players on both of these squads are very young. I look forward to great matchups from these teams for years to come.
The Celtics move on to face the Cleveland Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals for a chance to play in the NBA Finals. Feelings aside, and a straight up basketball related analysis of this series…….Sorry Boston, not this year. There is nothing the Celtics can do to stop Lebron James from doing whatever he wants out there. Anyone guarding him will find themselves in foul trouble very quickly. Then there’s the Kevin Love issue. Where’s the matchup there? Tatum? Baynes? Then you have to deal with the Tristan Thompson issue. Yes, I suspect that Tristan Thompson will play a huge role in this series. I wouldn’t even be surprised if coach Tyron Lue decided to start Thompson in this series. As good as Boston was against the 76ers, the thing that worked most for them was not needing to go too deep into their bench to matchup with the 76ers. Cleveland will go deep into their bench. Kyle Korver, Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman (remember him?), Jordan Clarkson, Jeff Green, Larry Nance Jr. I think the Cavs are just going to be too deep in the long-run. I still think it will be a competitive series. I give Boston a home game, and maybe even steal one in Cleveland. But too much bench, too much Cavs, too much Bron. I got the Cavs in 6. Sorry I’m not sorry Celtics fans.