By: Jeremy Stevens | May 9, 2018
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Maybe Philadelphia coach Brett Brown can implore room-emptying Curt Schilling — who pitched the 1993 Phils into the World Series — to tell the Sixers exactly how you come back from an 3-0 deficit.
Maybe they can try shots of Jack Daniels or play “Tessie” during warm-ups.
Me? I’m not buying it. The Sixers had their chance in the first three games of this series, but they blew a 22-point lead in Game 2 and then imploded in a hail of panic and stupidity (premature confetti) in their own gym Saturday. There is a reason no NBA team has done this and I’m telling you that these Sixers are not up to the task. I haven’t been this sure of anything since I told you there was no way Doug Pederson and Nick Foles were going to beat Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII.
I can guarantee you Dan Shaughnessy gave an all-knowing wink and a nod to an imaginary audience as he submitted that article to the Globe. As if to say: “It’s not like there’s any historical precedent for historic comebacks in the last few years of sports, right?” *rubs hands together menacingly*
My sarcasm meter is at a seven out of ten right now, because you never know with Shaughnessy. Does he really want to suggest that the 76ers are doomed, while mentioning the 2004 Red Sox, the 2010 Bruins, and the 2018 Patriots in the same breath? Again, you never know with this guy.
The good news is that the Celtics are undefeated at home in six playoff games so far, and Scary Terry “The Difference Maker” Rozier has been an absolute force on Boston’s home floor – 22.8 points per game on 50 percent shooting at home versus 12.8 on 33.9 percent on the road. (Link to stats)
On Page 2, the Celtics remain unfazed by their opponents
With the former complaining to the referee about the call, Embiid was quickly on the scene and attempted to rip the ball off Rozier’s hands.
Unsurprisingly, Rozier had other ideas and stubbornly held onto the ball, while Embiid kept trying to get it off him. Eventually, the Celtics guard aggressively shoved the All-Star center away, which resulted in players from both teams joining the fracas.
Whether Rozier was simply trying to push Embiid away or whether he tried to land a punch was up for debate, but the latter appeared untroubled by the incident.
“He tried to punch me twice, but too bad he’s too short to reach my face,” the Sixers star said when asked about his scuffle with Rozier.
Of course, Rozier wasn’t the only Celtic to scuffle with Embiid, who insisted that the 76ers had gotten into Boston’s head.
Marcus Morris reminding Joel Embiid Celtics lead the series 3-0 pic.twitter.com/0WPwhdBGlY
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) May 7, 2018
For all of my worrying about jinxes and other superstition, the Celtics themselves don’t seem the slightest bit worried. To be fair, Rozier wasn’t even worried when it was announced that Kyrie Irving would be done for the season, so why start now?
No Doubt No Fear this way
— Terry Rozier (@T_Rozzay3) April 5, 2018
(note the April 5th timestamp, the same day Irving’s season-ending surgery was announced)
The Ringer recently posted a piece on Rozier describing the rigors of his childhood in Shaker Heights, Ohio. It’s funny that professional basketball players think their opponents might be afraid of them after growing up around gun (and other forms of) violence throughout their childhood.
Marcus Morris and Joel Embiid are both in the top five of my “guys I would want on my team in a gladiator arena fight to the death” list, but I don’t find either of them to be even half as intimidating as the idea of being shot in the face.
The Celtics have overcome unprecedented adversity to get to this point, so the idea that the 76ers would be the ones to break their focus, given the current circumstances, is laughable. Unless you really think Embiid’s taunts have more impact than Gordon Hayward’s leg going nuclear on live television.
Finally, Jay Larranaga stays put… for now
Spurs assistant James Borrego is finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2018
Everybody saying that Brad Stevens should “win something” before having the right to command so much respect around the league should take note of how many teams are trying to hire his assistants away. The executives around the NBA know that there’s something special going on in Boston, and they think that can get a taste of Brad’s genius by probing the mind of his assistants while installing them as head coaches of their own.
It’s probably a blessing that Jay didn’t land in Charlotte, who cleaned house to hire Mitch Kupchak, who was ousted from the Lakers front office for a series of questionable trades and contracts (Luol Deng is owed over $36 million over the next two seasons.) (Luol Deng is still in the NBA, by the way.)