By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after being mauled by the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night. They were able to use a strong offensive surge and defensive performance to destroy the Boston Celtics 106-94.
Philly got their big man Joel Embiid back tonight. He made his presence felt on both sides of the ball. He scored 14 of his 35-points by half-time. His presence opened the flood gates from beyond the arc for guard/forward Danny Green. Until late in the second quarter he was the only Sixer who was able to cash in from the three-point line. He hit five three-pointers and scored 17-points.
On the performance of his big man, “Walking out, he (Embiid) said, ‘I’m back.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I noticed,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Even though Embiid and Green were having their way. The Celtics continued to make it difficult for Philly. They even had a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter. That’s as close as they would get. Boston struggled with the defense of Philly. They were able to keep forward Jayson Tatum in check. He scored a quiet 17-points and only hit seven/17 shots during this game. The defense on him and his teammates forced them into 20 turnovers. Those turnovers sprung the fast break for the Sixers.
On the defensive performance, “We really locked in. I thought overall, we locked in and guarded. We had a great individual defensive performances by a lot of guys,” said Rivers.
That allowed guard/forward Ben Simmons to go on the attack. He was way more aggressive in tonight’s game than he has been in the past few games. Some of that maybe the return of Embiid. Which gives him more freedom to attack when the defense focuses on him. Simmons scored 12-points. He is still trying to find his way and the return of Embiid should spark him and the rest of the offense which has sputtered without his scoring.
Philly now will get a two days off as they prepare for the New Orleans Pelicans. Who may give the Sixers some trouble. As they have guards who can hit threes and Zion Williamson. Philly will need to have a strong performance on defense to keep Williamson in check and minimize the impact of their guards.