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Sixers Go Up on the Celtics by 22 and Then Tumble Aimlessly to an 11-Point Loss in London

Sixers fly across the ocean and give a new, international audience a masterclass in breaking your fans’ hearts.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - NBA London Game Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Here’s a little inside baseball: As the Site Manager or Editor or whatever you want to call me here, I manage the game coverage schedule, to work along with everyone’s other commitments. Logically, therefore, I get first pick of games I want to do coverage for. It’s a nice benefit, but I’m beginning to think I may not be the best at it. Here’s a complete record of the games I have done previews/live tweets/recaps for this year:

  • 109-105 Win against the Clippers.
  • 118-112 OT win against Timberwolves.
  • 105-98 win on Christmas against the Knicks.
  • 118-113 win over the Wizards in the Hack-a-Simmons game.
  • Loss to Kings 109-108, which I called “the ugliest loss of the year.”
  • 124-116 loss against GSW.
  • 114-108 loss to Raptors after being up 22.
  • 114-110 loss to Portland, which I called “the worst Sixers loss of the season.”

So I’m now 4-5 on the year - a comparable winning percentage to the Sixers themselves - but have been here with you all for three of the five worst losses of the year. Maybe I need to retire. Maybe I need to go on a walkabout and see what it all means. I’m scheduled to do game coverage on Monday.

This was, essentially, a tale of two halves. More specifically, a tale of 1.5 quarters vs. the story for the other 2.5. The Sixers only had 2 turnovers in the first quarter, they had 17 the rest of the game. They shot 54.7% from the floor in the first half. They shot 36.6% in the second half. The Celtics, on the other hand, shot an insane 61.9% in the second half, following up a 40.4% showing in the first. With 6:56 left in the second quarter, the Sixers were up by 22, 49-27. From that point forward, the Celtics won the game 87-54.

They were out-rebounded, not based upon skill but upon effort. They were out-assisted, they were out-hustled, and they were out-worked. Robert Covington was a non-factor, posting a horrendous -25 to go with 5 points and 4 turnovers. Joel Embiid struggled mightily with 4 turnovers of his own, while he failed to muscle his way down low the way he wanted against a combination of Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis. Ben Simmons was the aggressive Ben we all wanted to see, but his 16/3/2 with 2 blocks and 2 steals on 8-12 from the floor was never going to be enough against this team with this overall performance. JJ Redick shot the lights out in the first half, going 5-6 from long-range, but 0-3 in the second. Redick’s typical move this season seems to be put up 14 points in the first half and then end with 16. He put up 18 in the first tonight and ended with 22, 1 off of a technical free throw.

For the third time this season, the Sixers have posted a new “worst game of the year” while I was running the tweets. Hopefully Monday won’t be #4, but the odds don’t look good.

The Sixers next play the Raptors on Monday at a special-MLK Day start time of 1PM. They’ve lost their three meetings with the Raptors so far this year by a combined 55 points.

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