Rusty Sixers Lose to Celtics in Game 1

3 thoughts from Boston's Game 1 victory over Ben Simmons' 76ers

The two Atlantic Division teams have squared off in the postseason for decades, and the TD Garden crowd was ready with multiple anti-Sixers chants throughout Game 1.

Tatum has now scored 20 or more in three straight games, the first Boston rookie to do so in the playoffs since Larry Bird accomplished the feat in four straight playoff tilts during the 1980 playoffs.

The Boston Celtics didn't wait to fire the first shot in their renewed rivalry with the burgeoning Philadelphia 76ers, comprehensively taking Game 1 of the second round series with a 117-101 win.

The Celtics were led by young guard Terry Rozier who stuffed the stat sheet with 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals as the home team led nearly from start to finish.

Boston sank 47 per cent of their three-pointers.


But somehow in just 48 hours, Brad Stevens and the Celtics pieced together a game plan on both ends to pull the rug on the Philadelphia 76ers. Brett Brown and his troops must commit themselves to each other on the defensive side of the floor. Philadelphia picked Markelle Fultz; he did not play on Monday night.

It may not happen again this series, but it is not a total fluke that Rozier and Tatum outperformed Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and the defensive assignments favor Boston's young talent. The Sixers will probably hit more than five threes in Game 2. Robert Covington had yet another terrible shooting night, going 0-for-6 from the field, 0-for-4 from three, for three points. The 6-foot-10 point guard Simmons and the 7-foot Embiid have a full complement of weapons like sharpshooters JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli, and versatile forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington. The Celtics sold out on sticking with players on the perimeter, and Boston also had the bodies to fight over screens and deny open shots for shooters coming off of curls. Boston likely won't shoot that well from three consistently, while Philly should eventually start to connect. One of the things when I talked to him, I was like 'Hey, we obviously really need you out there, but we need you for the long run.

Something the Celtics can hope to recreate moving forward is keeping the pace low.

The duo have been terrific in these playoffs and produced their best performances against the Sixers last night.

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