Rapid Recap: Theatrics from Kemba, Jaylen can't overcome Celtics' foul disparity in loss to Sixers

Rapid Recap: Theatrics from Kemba, Jaylen can't overcome Celtics' foul disparity in loss to Sixers

Celtics

Rapid Recap: Theatrics from Kemba, Jaylen can't overcome Celtics' foul disparity in loss to Sixers

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This year’s first Celtics-Sixers game came under strange circumstances: No in-person shit-talking between the league’s two rowdiest fanbases. No full-strength rosters. Overall it was still pretty exciting…at least until the end, when Boston’s offense melted into useless goo and Philly exhibited artisanal foul-drawing ability. A game the Cs could’ve won was instead an anticlimactic, frustrating slog to a 117-109 loss.

Kemba Walker looked more or less like himself and racked up 19-2-6, while Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart combined for 51 points (26-6-3 for Brown, 25-4-4 and a steal for Smart). Daniel Theis put on quite the show as a sixth man to drop 23-10-1 and a steal.

Let’s trace how it went down:

The offense got going real fast for the Cs:

But the Sixers are on top in the East the same way the Celtics are, so it quickly went the other way:

Some…debatable officiating played a role:

There was debate over Marcus Smart, as there often is; I personally wouldn’t say he was the whole reason the Cs lost the lead.

But hey, it wasn’t all bad!

Remember how good the Cs offense looked against Orlando last Friday? That’s about how effective the Sixers were against the Celtics defense after their slow start. Boston didn’t have a clear answer for Tobias Harris or the surging Shake Milton.

I’m not as anti-Teague as some but he looked off in the first half. Then again, only one Celtics Guard—Walker—was truly on during this period;

Kemba’s shooting spree got Boston back a razor’s-edge lead. Brown and Theis (who seemed to not mind being used as a 6 man) were a big help:

Javonte Green made his presence known:

We got a close one!

In-arena shit-talking may be impossible, but slander flowed wild and free on Twitter:

Q3 started inauspiciously with Ben Simmons making Teague look reeeeaaaalllllllll old and uncoordinated:

First half of the quarter was just punch/counterpunch, advance/retreat. Tit-for-tat war of attrition with no side exhibiting a clear advantage…except that Philly was leaning entirely on Embiid, while Boston was a bit more well-rounded. Marcus, for example, looked much better:

Guys who’d gone on mini-tears in the first half, like Shake Milton and Tobias Harris, were ice-cold now.

Simmons’ night went from bad to worse. First Jaylen did this to him:

Next, Tallrondo bit on consecutive flops, one of which was an absolutely ludicrous one by Javonte Green that shouldn’t have worked. Yikes.

The Sixers aren’t a team that just folds, of course, so their quick run at the top of Q4 wasn’t a huge surprise.

Counterpoint:

We were back to the attrition-offense vibes, with neither side building up a clear lead. Free throws had, to say the least, a lot to do with the points Philly managed to accrue:

In the final few minutes of Q4, though, Boston’s shot was almost nowhere to be found, and Philly was warming up again. Well, just enough, really. The refs took care of the rest.

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