Robert Covington was taken out of the beginning lineup for Game 4. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The 76ers and Raptors have been picked by loads of analysts to win their second-round collection, and now each might be swept Monday evening. Follow alongside right here for the most recent evaluation and commentary from The Post’s NBA reporter Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions within the feedback part. Catch up on yesterday’s games here.
NotFoul hassle is piling up for the Celtics. Jayson Tatum has three fouls; so too does Marcus Morris. Meanwhile, three gamers – Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Semi Ojeleye – have two fouls. Backup level guard Shane Larkin, in the meantime, is questionable to return with an injured shoulder after being hit with a tough display screen by Joel Embiid earlier on this recreation.
That means each guard and wing participant in Boston’s rotation aside from start line guard Terry Rozier is both injured or in foul hassle, which might turn out to be an element later within the recreation.
Meanwhile, Marcus Smart simply had Ben Simmons fall on his arm and harm his proper shoulder, and simply had to take a look at of the sport. Embiid had a collision with Aron Baynes earlier within the recreation that had him grimacing on the bench.
All of this can be stuff to observe as the sport progresses.
A 3rd foul for Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum will open the door for Philadelphia to make a run – simply because the Sixers did in Game Three.
So far, although, Boston has been in a position to construct a 33-27 lead halfway via the second quarter behind attending to the road repeatedly (9-for-11, in comparison with 2-for-Three for Philadelphia) as each groups at the moment are capturing beneath 35 %.
Tatum and Marcus Smart are tied for the scoring lead for the Celtics with seven factors every, whereas J.J. Redick has seven for the Sixers.
Robert Covington has been given one other probability by Brett Brown – and it’s not going effectively.
Covington, who was benched in favor of T.J. McConnell for what might be the ultimate recreation of Philadelphia’s season, already has two fouls and has missed each pictures he’s taken in a tough six-minute stint that noticed Philadelphia be outscored by 5 factors with him on the courtroom.
Outside of Game 2, Covington has been a catastrophe at each ends on this collection. His begin to Game 4 doesn’t look encourage confidence that’s about to vary.
Jayson Tatum has picked up two fast fouls within the recreation’s opening minutes for a second straight recreation. But as soon as once more, Celtics Coach Brad Stevens is displaying an uncommon quantity of belief in his rookie ahead by leaving him within the recreation regardless of foul hassle.
Tatum is unusually poised for a rookie and has earned the correct to remain within the recreation in these sorts of conditions. It’s simply the most recent instance of why the Celtics have outstripped expectations in these playoffs.
With their season on the road, the 76ers selected to take a bet and alter their beginning lineup for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal collection with the Celtics.
Coach Brett Brown eliminated Robert Covington from the beginning lineup and changed him with backup level guard T.J. McConnell. Covington has struggled within the collection, going a mixed Zero for 14 from the sphere – together with Zero for 9 from three – in losses in Games 1 and three. But he did play effectively in Game 2 (22 factors and 9 rebounds whereas capturing eight for 15 total and 4 for 7 from three).
McConnell has performed effectively, and is a pleasant backup level guard, however can’t present the identical influence at both finish Covington can when he’s enjoying effectively. But we’ll see if Brown offers Covington one other probability on this recreation, or if he’s been banished to the top of the bench.
Through the primary three video games of their Eastern Conference semifinal collection towards the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers have been confirmed to have a obvious weak spot: the shortage of a fringe participant who can create his personal shot.
Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell, Marco Belinelli — all of them are unable to isolate and rating themselves on a constant foundation. That’s a weak spot Celtics Coach Brad Stevens has taken benefit of, as he’s had his protection enable Joel Embiid — the one participant who can create his personal shot — to go one-on-one towards Al Horford within the paint repeatedly, and never enable Philadelphia’s different gamers to get going.
All the whereas, the participant the Sixers thought would be capable to make these sorts of performs — Markelle Fultz — has watched from the bench, having been benched since early within the first spherical towards the Miami Heat. It is the most recent instance of what might need been had Fultz’s rookie season gone otherwise.
Count me amongst those that assume Fultz goes to wind up being all proper. After returning late within the season, his velocity with the ball was eye-popping, and he was in a position to snake his manner into defenses even with apparent points along with his shot remaining. With a whole offseason to get his mechanics and his confidence so as, the hope is that he’ll be capable to get again to being the participant who was the near-consensus high decide in final yr’s NBA draft. And it’s comprehensible why Sixers Coach Brett Brown has prevented going again to Fultz — McConnell has performed effectively, and Fultz made some unhealthy turnovers, to not point out groups might take much more benefit of his capturing points than they’ve been with Simmons.
But one can’t assist however watch these Sixers, and the way this collection is enjoying out, and surprise what might have been if Fultz had been proper this season. And if Philadelphia’s season does finish tonight with a loss to the Celtics in Game 4 of this collection, count on perimeter shot creation to be one thing General Manager Bryan Colangelo focuses on discovering this summer time.
He’ll undoubtedly be hoping a part of that resolution is getting Fultz again within the combine.
The Detroit Pistons have parted methods with Stan Van Gundy, giving the NBA one entrance workplace opening and a 3rd teaching job to fill.
Van Gundy’s standing has been in limbo for the previous three weeks, as he and proprietor Tom Gores held a number of conferences earlier than it was finally decided that Van Gundy, who was given the twin roles of coach and president of basketball operations, wouldn’t return for the ultimate yr of his contract in a gathering Monday afternoon.
Upon arriving in Detroit, Gores advised Van Gundy he couldn’t do an entire teardown of the roster within the fashion of the Philadelphia 76ers. So Van Gundy didn’t, and tried to carry the Pistons again to the playoffs with out ever bottoming out. He succeeded in 2016, however accidents to Reggie Jackson the previous two years prevented Detroit from repeating that feat — and led Van Gundy to depart.
Now it’s assumed that Arn Tellem, the longtime NBA tremendous agent who has been operating Detroit’s enterprise operations, can have a big say in who replaces Van Gundy each as head coach and because the head of basketball operations. The Pistons ought to have a group that can be within the playoffs subsequent season, however has wage cap obligations stretching over the following two years due to long-term offers for Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Detroit additionally doesn’t have its first-round decide on this yr’s NBA draft, having despatched it to the Los Angeles Clippers to amass Griffin in February.
- Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers (BOS leads Three-Zero), 6 p.m., TNT
- Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers (CLE leads Three-Zero), eight:30 p.m., TNT
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