Boston Celtics falter defensively against the Philadelphia 76ers without Joel Embiid
The Boston Celtics’ Missed Opportunity in Game 1 Against the Philadelphia 76ers: Lack of Defensive Urgency and James Harden’s Heroics, Celtics Struggle Defensively Without Embiid
In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Boston Celtics failed to take advantage of MVP candidate Joel Embiid’s absence due to a sprained right knee and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 119-115. Despite shooting 58.7% from the field and getting 39 points from Jayson Tatum, the Celtics allowed Philadelphia to shoot 50.6% from the field and were outmatched on the defensive end. including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.1 seconds remaining, to lead the Sixers to victory, Celtics Struggle Defensively Without Embiid.
Celtics center Al Horford noted the lack of defensive urgency and the impact of Embiid’s absence on the team’s performance. Tatum agreed that the team’s defensive intensity was insufficient and acknowledged that they allowed the Sixers to be too comfortable at times. The Celtics had a double-digit favorite status entering the game but were unable to capitalize on Embiid’s absence.
The Sixers had formed an identity without Embiid on the court, playing faster and spacing the floor with Harden running the offense. Philadelphia had a 12-5 record in games Embiid missed this season. The Celtics had previously been 8-1 against the Philadelphia in playoff matchups in the past six seasons.
In the fourth quarter, Harden outscored Tatum and Jaylen Brown 15-10 and helped the Sixers steal the game. Tatum pointed out that other Sixers players, such as Melton, also stepped up and made crucial shots. The Celtics lost the lead in the final minutes of the game following a turnover by Malcolm Brogdon, allowing Tyrese Maxey to score a crucial basket that put the Sixers in the lead.
Source : Espn