The 76ers fell to the Celtics 105-87 on opening night. Philly competed for three quarters but fell apart late and it was a culmination of all the mistakes throughout the game. Now it’s opening night and Boston is the best team in the east so don’t be so drastic this early. But here is some takeaways from Tuesday’s game.
Transition O has been good:
Whenever Boston coughed up the ball Philly capitalized and Simmons handling the ball running down it seemed as if Philly couldn’t be stopped. The transition game was great last year as well and it seems to have returned this season too. Fultz and Simmons running ahead with Embiid trailing is a scary thought and they were near perfect when driving in those fast break attempts. The three point attempts is a different story.
Fultz not fully there, yet!:
Fultz still looked hesitant to take jumpers as Boston sagged off all night and the few he took didn’t really go in. Other aspects of his game were solid in his passing and rebounding game. Defense was good as well. Markelle looked ok at the free throw line but there’s room for improvement. The major takeaway while everyone shouts “Ainge Fleeced us!” Is Fultz is only 20. While so far it seems Boston got the better end of the stick Fultz has 6 years until he even enters his prime. Even if he’s not going to be that third piece he will be a solid player in Philly.
Turnovers still a problem:
Another thing to return from last year was the turnovers. Joel Embiid was too lackadaisical with the ball and lost it too much. Too many turnovers costed this game and led to several Celtic runs to pull the lead away. Too many stolen balls and lazy passes led to Boston getting easy points and it costed several points. While Embiid is a fantastic player his one flaw is how he controls the ball and hopefully that can be fixed throughout the year.
Simmons looks incredible:
Ben looked like the best player out in the court by far tonight with Tatum being a close second. Even though he fully doesn’t have a jumper the way he commands the ball is outstanding. His ball control and passing ability is on another level. Simmons looks to have taken a massive leap from last year the only major problem that still remains is his free throw percentage. Fast break points were crucial tonight and the way Simmons commanded the floor and was able to make such incredible passes with ease was outstanding.
Bench needs to return:
The lack of bench depth was seen tonight. When you play a team like Boston who can start 8-9 players you need to have a solid bench to compete or they will get run off the floor. Not having a second big in Muscala out there and only having Amir Johnson and Bolden available tires them out and doesn’t give you the ability to have a big out there that can stretch the floor. Wilson Chandler needs to be a key wing off the bench who can play solid while Roco and Saric get some rest. There is a bright future with Landry Shamet as he looks to be Belinelli’s replacement as a 3 point threat. As well as explosive guard Zhaire Smith returning in a few months from a broken foot.
[Featured Image: USA Today]
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