Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener

Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener
Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener  

The Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 on Tuesday to get the 2018-19 NBA season started with a statement win in Boston.

Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both returned to the court after injuries derailed them last season. Hayward did not even make it out of the first quarter of the first game last year, but he returned to score 10 points with five rebounds and four steals.

Looking deep and dangerous, the Celtics claimed an early edge as the Eastern Conference favourites with this victory.

Celtics are the deepest team in the East

Few teams are going to be able to compete with Golden State's starting lineup this season, but Boston might have the league's best bench. Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes and Terry Rozier all provided solid minutes and production on Tuesday, building on last season's playoff success.

With Jayson Tatum, Irving, Al Horford, Hayward and Jaylen Brown in the starting lineup, Boston have two dangerous squads ready to jump on opposing teams' second units.

76ers need shooters

It is easy to hit them when down (39 per cent shooting, 19 per cent from three-point range), but the 76ers consistently proved last season that J.J. Redick was their only true deep threat. Ben Simmons has blossomed into a dangerous player, but he cannot shoot. Simmons had 19 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, and Joel Embiid 23 points and 10 rebounds, but neither are threats from outside the free-throw line.

The NBA has become a shooter's league, with the best teams carrying multiple threats from beyond the arc. Philadelphia could struggle to win big games if they cannot find a couple more dangerous shooters.

Defense can still win games in the NBA

In an era of 'Big Threes' and collaborative superstars almost as famous off the court as they are on it, defense has lost a bit of its appeal over the past decade. But Brad Stevens has this Celtics team locked in on both ends of the court, something rarely seen in the NBA since the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs' dominant days in the early 2000s.

Brown and Tatum are rare young stars who get just as excited shutting their opponent down as they do scoring. That mentality could help Boston pull off some upsets when the games really start mattering.


More Related News

LeBron James on Cleveland:
LeBron James on Cleveland: 'When Kyrie got traded, it was the beginning of the end'

LeBron said he didn't blame Cavs' GM Koby Altman for Irving's trade to Boston, realizing owner Dan Gilbert pulled the trigger.

Report: Cavaliers GM Koby Altman told LeBron James they wouldn
Report: Cavaliers GM Koby Altman told LeBron James they wouldn't trade Kyrie Irving

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert apparently overruled

Aldridge, DeRozan help Spurs extend Warriors
Aldridge, DeRozan help Spurs extend Warriors' skid, 104-92

Finally faced with ''the real NBA,'' the Golden State Warriors are playing short-handed and having a hard time. LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 18 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs fended off a late rally to beat Golden State 104-92 on Sunday night, extending the Warriors' skid

Doncic leads Mavericks over short-handed Warriors 112-109
Doncic leads Mavericks over short-handed Warriors 112-109

Luka Doncic gave the Dallas Mavericks a glimpse of an exciting future - and extended a bad week for the Golden State Warriors. The rookie scored 24 points, including a short jumper that put Dallas in front for good, and the Mavericks beat the Warriors 112-109 on Saturday night. The 19-year-old from

Stephen Curry breaks silence on Draymond-Durant feud
Stephen Curry breaks silence on Draymond-Durant feud

Stephen Curry knows that the rift between his Golden State Warriors teammates Kevin Durant and Draymond Green might be viewed by outsiders as something that can doom the defending champions' NBA season. "That's not going to happen," Curry said on Saturday. Curry spoke publicly for the first time about the testy exchange between Durant and Green - they went at each other late in what became an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last Monday night, and the fallout has been a major talking point around the NBA since.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Basketball

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.