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.
The Celtics had 12 steals and forced 24 turnovers. Baynes, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier each reached double figures in scoring off the bench.
“I thought that whole second unit was really, really active, especially Marcus, Terry, and Baynes,” Stevens said. “I thought those guys stood out without question.”
Still, Boston’s defense was far from perfect. The 76ers made 14 of 31 3-pointers, and for most of the game they were shooting well above 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Second game of the preseason, first starting assignment for Jayson Tatum, second different lineup in as many games for a team that returns (in case you’ve been living under a rock) only four players (and one starter) from last year’s roster.
So, yeah, there’s some stuff that they need to improve. But for the first time in the Brad Stevens era, scoring is not something they’re going to struggle with.
There was no duel between Fultz and Taytum; the former was sidelined with ‘right shoulder soreness’. Also absent was Joel Embiid, who may not be ready to go the first game of the season. In his place, the Sixers started Jahlil Okafor, whom they tanked for and now can’t get rid of at any price.
We’ll perhaps get a chance to see Fultz play on Monday night, or it’ll have to be put off again to some future occasion, sort of like the eventual payoff from Hinkie’s tanking.
Page 2: Where Tatum looked a lot better his second time out
Tatum had nine points which included him making his first three shots from the field.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had told Tatum that he would be looking to start different lineups in the preseason, so Tatum assumed at some point he would be getting the call to play with the first unit.
Tatum said he felt “way more comfortable” against Philly in comparison to his first preseason game against Charlotte on Monday.
“I was more calm, relaxed,” Tatum said.
Part of that certainly had to do with him being on the floor to start the game with the team’s Big Three of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford in addition to his best friend on the team, Jaylen Brown.
Said Stevens: “I figured he would look good with those guys.”
So four of the Celtics’ starters seem to be pretty well established: Brown, Irving, Horford and Hayward; and it definitely looks like the fifth spot is going to be matchup driven.
Going up against a massive bruiser like Dwight? Put Baynes on him to soften him up.
Okafor, on the other hand, needs no softening up. Horford could start opposite him, which enabled the Celtics to put a solid offensive unit on the floor from opening tip.
That they only led Philly by a point after the first quarter suggests that a bit of work is needed on the defensive end for that unit.
Finally: This kid needs a new jersey
P.S.: This is also true
The rest of the links
MassLive: Boston Celtics analysis: Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum show their skills against Philadelphia 76ers | Kyrie Irving’s big third quarter, Marcus Smart’s strong outing push Boston Celtics past Philadelphia 76ers, 110-102
NBCSports Boston: Irving scores 21, C’s pull away in second half to beat Sixers, 110-102
Boston Herald: Celtics notebook: Kyrie Irving leads C’s past Sixers