In case you missed it the 76era fell to the Boston Celtics in game 1 last night, 109 – 101. If you did miss it check out Bobby Dubs recap for Last Out Media here:
Plague by giving up offensive rebounds and turnovers the obvious fix is to simply give up fewer turnovers and offensive rebounds. The 18 76er turnovers to 7 of the Celtics, is bad for business on the Sixers side. The fact that the much smaller Celtics got 16 offensive rebounds is just as bad. So, let’s get this out the way now, limit turnovers, and box the hell out.
Now that the easy part is out of the way, what else can the 76ers do to get an edge over the hated Celtics? First and foremost in my opinion it has to start with Joel Embiid. Marc Jackson on NBC Sports pregame show said it best, Joel needs to accept that the reason they are doubling him is that he is great, and look to pass first at times. If Joel successfully passes out of double teams, it makes double teams less effective which will make Joel’s offense and ability to score in the post more effective. It’s been too long of Joel not seeing the double, dribbling while falling down, trying to keep his dribble, and ultimately give up the ball. You simply cannot win with a big man as the center of your offense if he doesn’t have the ability to pass.
I didn’t think these kinds of tweets would come till about game 3, but in today’s game, if Joel doesn’t figure out how to pass out of the post, or take advantage of double teams, there is a real possibility that it won’t produce winning basketball. While I don’t advocate for trading Joel yet, Dennis isn’t wrong, the 76ers best bet may be to build around Ben going forward, which in my opinion they already have. If the 76ers can get Joel to buy into being 1B and learn how to pass out the post I still think the pairing is workable.
However, that may be a future fix and right now they are staring at a Celtics team down 1 game getting ready to go into game 2. They don’t have Ben Simmons, and it’s clear that when Joel gets the chance he can score at ease against the much smaller Celtics’ bigs. What do the 76ers need to change in-game 2 outside of turnovers and giving up offensive rebounds? To me it’s a fairly simple fix, they need to get Tobias Harris and Al Horford involved early and more. The Sixers became one dimensional at times last night, where it was Josh or Alec dribbling and ultimately putting up a shot. Al and Tobias are much more of ball movement guys, and Tobias is a rhythm shooter, they need more touches throughout the game. The 76ers fell into Jimmy Butler mode again last night was the entire offense was predicated on a Joel Embiid pick and roll, with little to no ball movement. Get Al the ball in the high post and allow Tobias to get into a rhythm early, it will make those two much more effective down the stretch.
The Celtics took 10 more shots which were mostly attributed to the 10 more 76er turnovers and 16 offensive rebounds they gave up. Clean that up, get guys like Horford and Tobias involved early and often, and they have a real shot at winning against this Celtics team. The Hayward injury may really prove to be detrimental to the Celtics, depending on how severe it is, the Celtics will have to rely on their bench, which is already one of their weaknesses.
One matchup the 76ers should use more to their advantage was Matisse Thybulle guarding Tatum. They have to slow down at least one of the Celtics wing, having Brown and Tatum combine for 61 points is a sure fire way to lose a game. Tatum dropped 32, but when guarded by defensive specialist Thybulle he was basically nuetralized.
If I am coaching the 76ers, Thybulle is inserted in my starting line up and is only there to mirror Tatum. If he can continue to limit Tatum, the Sixers cut back on turnovers, pay more attention to defensive rebounds, Joel can see and take advantage of the double teams, which we saw him do earlier in Orlando, and they can get Tobias and Horford involved early and often, the 76ers have a very good shot at stealing game 2.
Game 2 is Tomorrow at 6:30 PM o