The Celtics host the 76ers to start their Eastern Conference semifinal sequence. Follow alongside right here for the newest 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.
The Boston Celtics simply carry on coming.
Without two injured all-stars, and with out a additional two injured rotation gamers, having performed a seven-game sequence that ended 48 hours in the past … none of it has mattered to date in Game 1, because the Celtics surged right into a 56-45 halftime lead over the Philadelphia 76ers.
As they did all through the primary spherical, the Celtics acquired most of their offensive manufacturing from 4 gamers: Al Horford (16 factors on 6-for-7 taking pictures), Terry Rozier (13), Jayson Tatum (12) and Marcus Morris (9).
Philadelphia, in the meantime, couldn’t get out of its personal means. The Sixers have already got eight turnovers, which grew to become eight Celtics factors. Ben Simmons had half of these turnovers on his personal.
Joel Embiid had 13 factors and eight rebounds within the first half for the Sixers, who shot simply 37.Eight p.c total and three for 15 from three-point vary. Boston, in the meantime, went 7 for 16 from deep.
The Sixers have extra expertise than the Celtics, however this regarded like the primary second in these playoffs when Philadelphia actually regarded tight. We’ll see how the Sixers reply within the second spherical.
The Philadelphia 76ers spent the primary spherical wanting remarkably free for a crew with little playoff expertise.
Then got here the primary quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals towards the Boston Celtics, by which it appeared the Sixers have been making an attempt to make up for the poise they confirmed towards the Miami Heat by falling aside early on towards Boston.
Ben Simmons, particularly, was in every single place. He had three of Philadelphia’s 4 turnovers – 4 turnovers that become 5 Celtics factors and allowed Boston to take a 25-22 lead after the primary quarter.
During his between-quarters interview with TNT, Sixers Coach Brett Brown attributed Philadelphia’s gradual begin to the week lengthy layoff his crew had, as an alternative of to nerves. Either means, it wants to alter.
Boston, in the meantime, acquired 16 first quarter factors from Terry Rozier (10) and Marcus Morris (six) on a mixed 7-for-13 taking pictures. The remainder of the Celtics? Nine factors on 2-for-10 taking pictures – and that included an ideal 5 for 5 begin from the foul line from Jayson Tatum.
The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be a crew that hasn’t performed in per week. The Boston Celtics look regular.
That’s the offensive breakdown of each groups early within the first quarter of Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinal. That wouldn’t be the case if Boston had arguably its three greatest scoring threats – Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown – obtainable for this recreation.
They don’t, although, and the outcomes are apparent. With just one matchup – Jayson Tatum going towards J.J. Redick – that Boston can really exploit, scoring goes to be tough on this sequence.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia has gotten a bunch of open appears, however has missed just about all of them. That’s why it’s 9-Eight early within the first quarter, regardless of the Sixers wanting just like the much better crew.
The Boston Celtics face an uphill climb of their Eastern Conference semifinal sequence towards the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston had a seven-game slugfest with the Milwaukee Bucks finish 48 hours in the past, and they’re taking part in with out all-stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, each of whom are out with season-ending accidents.
Things acquired even harder Monday night time, although, when Jaylen Brown was dominated out for Game 1 with a hamstring damage.
Brown was Boston’s second-leading scorer towards the Bucks, averaging 17.9 factors per recreation – and that features him scoring simply two factors earlier than exiting Game 7 together with his damage. With Irving and Hayward sidelined, Brown had taken on a number of the shot creation and scoring from the perimeter the Celtics have to survive.
But beating a Bucks crew that’s now out there for a brand new coach and didn’t have a coherent strategy to benefit from their expertise, is much totally different than beating a much more proficient Sixers crew that’s equally effectively coached.
That’s why this sequence ought to final not more than 5 video games, regardless of Philadelphia not having dwelling courtroom benefit. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are the 2 greatest gamers on this sequence, and the Sixers are a deep, proficient crew that has gained 20 of its final 21 video games going again to the center of final month.
Couple that with the Celtics accidents and the pressure that the final sequence placed on them, and it’s going to be tough – regardless of how a lot Brad Stevens attracts issues up – for this to be a aggressive sequence. If it’s, the collective appreciation for Stevens and his acumen will solely improve from the place it’s now.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry will make his return from a sprained medial collateral ligament Tuesday night time towards the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal.
Warriors Coach Steve Kerr confirmed Curry was possible for Game 2 after the crew practiced right here Monday, saying that there wouldn’t be a minutes restriction in his return and that the crew would monitor his minutes primarily based on his conditioning and rhythm.
Golden State introduced Curry again shortly from an analogous damage two years in the past, as he returned two weeks after spraining his MCL towards the Houston Rockets within the first spherical of the playoffs to play in Game three of the Warriors’ second-round sequence with the Portland Trail Blazers.
This time, Curry acquired greater than 5 weeks to heal from JaVale McGee falling into his leg throughout a recreation in late March – a product each of this damage being barely extra extreme than that one, and the Warriors having the added luxurious of the presence of Kevin Durant on their roster to assist cushion the blow of shedding one of many league’s most dynamic scorers.
The Warriors cruised by means of their first-round sequence towards the San Antonio Spurs in 5 video games with out Curry, after which demolished the Pelicans, who have been coming off a formidable sweep of the Trail Blazers in spherical one themselves, in Game 1 on Saturday night time with Curry nonetheless sitting on the sidelines.
Given Curry gained’t have a minutes restrict, it appears protected to imagine he’ll slide into the beginning lineup rather than Nick Young, who began Game 1 because the Warriors went small – a precursor to what they might do when Curry returned. Starting small allowed the Warriors to place Andre Iguodala on Nikola Mirotic and provides each Klay Thompson and Durant time on Jrue Holiday, negating two of New Orleans’ main scorers.
That nonetheless left Draymond Green – solely the league’s reigning defensive participant of the 12 months – to protect New Orleans star Anthony Davis, a activity which Green responded to by placing up a triple-double.
- Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics, Eight p.m., TNT (sequence tied Zero-Zero)
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