The Sixers look to really start the series with a win in Boston tonight, and in the process, attempt to erase their abysmal Game 1 performance from everyone’s minds. In Game 1, the Sixers had a bottom five on the season 3-point shooting performance at only 19.2% (has anyone else put the 2-26 game against the Milwaukee Bucks out of their minds?). They will need to remedy that, if only just a little, and execute their defensive game plan, if only just a lot, if they want to even up the series.
By all accounts, the team knows they didn’t play well. Postgame, Joel Embiid said, “I thought I was shitty.” When Robert Covington was asked how frustrated they were by the defensive effort he responded, “Very. That’s not us.” Dario Saric summed it up best by saying, “Defensively, offensively, it was bad.”
We’ve talked extensively on the site about what the Sixers need to do in order to win Game 2: play Marco Belinelli less if his shot isn’t falling, make more shots, and fix the defense. In conclusion, play better. The bench will also need to show up tonight, with Ersan Ilyasova and Belinelli being the only two players off the bench who scored in Game 1 (17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists in total). On the other side, the Celtics’ bench contributed for 19 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, spread out among Marcus Morris, Semi Ojeleye, and Shane Larkin. Although the statistics are similar, having an extra contributing bench player who Brett Brown can go to can be critical in getting the starters rest for when they’re needed down the stretch.
At the time of this writing, Jaylen Brown is still listed as doubtful which means the Sixers will likely face the same line-up that they did on Monday. Here’s to hoping that some film study and soul-searching have done them some good.
Game Time: 8:30 pm
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic