Knocked Sixers

By: Kylan Watson

The Philadelphia 76ers traveled up to Boston to renew one of the most storied rivalries in basketball. Philly had this game within reach multiple times throughout this game, but their defense and shooting let them down tonight. The Celtics drowned Philly from three-point range and were able to beat them 106-99.

The Sixers started the game off hot they made their first few shots and had the Celtics on their heels early in the game. They were led by the duo of Joel Embiid (28-points) and James Harden (26-points) who combined for 54 of Philly’s 99-points. The two biggest reason the Sixers lost this game is because they could not take advantage of the wide-open shots both Embiid and Harden created. They only made eight three-pointers and that is just not going to get it down when the Celtics make 19 three-pointers. Tonight, was a game they let get away because they did not have it tonight offensively. The Sixers did what they had to do tonight to beat Boston kept the game tight and had they not missed shots and had blown defensive assignments they may have been able to steal one on an off night for Boston.

However, the Celtics proved why the investment in their second unit was a smart move. Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White combined for 38 of the Celtics 106-points. The duo made Philly pay multiple times for their lax defensive play on them. Both players would either pull-up from the three-point line or attack the basket to get Philly’s defenders in foul trouble. They both did enough to keep the Celtics ahead in a tough game for both squads.  Boston’s late game execution was simply better than Philly’s they made the right play and did not force it offensively. They made some two back-breaking threes to get the win tonight.

The Sixers will need to find a way to get more out of the other players not named Embiid or Harden. What has worked for them all season is getting other players involved and spread the wealth on the offensive side. The shots did not fall tonight, but the Sixers also got away from ball movement and relied on hero ball. That did not work against the Celtics, and they will need to keep making the right play if they want to get where they want to go. With the trade deadline coming up tomorrow night maybe the Sixers need to invest in more scoring and a consistent perimeter defensive player. Not being able to make three-pointers and poor perimeter defensive play cost them tonight and both things need to improve.

Philly will now prepare for a Friday night matchup with the New York Knicks on Friday night. They will need to stay attached to their man and make the Knicks a jump shooting team. Additionally, they will need to get the other players involved offensively, there were enough wide-open shot opportunities tonight that were missed tonight. They just need to make them and that should be easier in the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center. If they do these things, they can get their 35th victory of the season.

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