Sixers' Sloppy Game 1 Performance vs. Celtics Results in Defeat
On Monday, for the first time since the dramatic Game 7 loss against the Toronto Raptors last May, the Philadelphia 76ers played in a postseason matchup. Except for this time around, the Sixers are facing off against their bitter rival, the Boston Celtics.
Heading into the year, the Sixers were expected to place higher than Boston within the Eastern Conference Playoff picture as Philly's roster on paper looked like it could make a legitimate run for the Finals. At this point, though, we know the roles are reversed. And the Sixers entered Game 1 against Boston as the sixth-seeded underdogs.
With one away in the series, we saw precisely why the Celtics were favored. Boston snagged Game 1 of the series with a 109-101 win. As Philly was missing its defensive superstar in Ben Simmons, the Sixers had a hard time containing Boston's shooters Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Jaylen Brown.
Tatum, who emerged as a true superstar in the NBA this year, finished with an impressive 32-point game to open the series. Meanwhile, Brown accounted for 29 points, while Walker put up 19. As expected, Philly relied on Embiid to keep up with the Celtics' offense -- but his team-high of 26 points wasn't enough in the end.
From the beginning, the Sixers made it hard on themselves as they turned the ball over at a high-rate from start to finish. Through three quarters, the Sixers had 16 turnovers and finished the game with 18 total, which translated to 21 points for the Celtics.
Despite a sloppy first half, the Sixers made things interesting in the second half as they did a better job defending and finding better ways to score. In the end, though, it wasn't enough for Philly to come away with a victory. Now, the Sixers will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how they are going to counter the Celtics in Game 2, which is set to tip-off on Wednesday.