Celtics Blowout 76ers in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Semifinals
By: Cameron LaBree – May 4, 2018
A basketball franchise who have won only seventy-five total games over the last four seasons spent Tuesday wondering how soundly they were beaten as a playoff favorite in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. This was far from what the Sixers expected from the Celtics, and even though the Celtics won at home, it appears that they have all the momentum in the series. The Philadelphia 76ers will have to go back to the drawing board if they wish to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Philadelphia 76ers, who quickly and stunningly transformed their franchise from the laughingstock of the National Basketball Association to one of the tougher teams in the league, was expected to defeat the beaten-up Boston Celtics on Monday. Their talent is extraordinary. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are two perennial all-stars in this league, and potentially superstar players, who Philadelphia wisely picked in the lottery of the 2014 and 2016 NBA drafts respectively
On the contrary, the Boston Celtics, currently composed of talented lottery picks, journeymen and veteran free agents, led by one of the best coaches in the NBA, continue to find. They have all the odds stacked against them in this playoff series, and many have written them off from the start. Vegas has favored the Philadelphia 76ers to come out of the Eastern Conference and make it to the NBA Finals, however, the Boston Celtics may very well pull off the upset.
The Philadelphia 76ers are tired of their losing, rebuilding ways that have represented their franchise for the last four years or do. Along with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the franchise players of the team, they have elite shooters. They have a tough, passionate coach who was content with tanking and losing in order to improve the team in the long run. He kept a relentlessly positive approach throughout these rebuilding years.
In addition, Philadelphia 76ers fans are fired up. They have dealt with years of misery as the 76ers have finished the regular season at the bottom of the Eastern Conference for many seasons. Despite this, the fans still supported their team. Many bought into the idea of “The Process,” which essentially means that Philadelphia would improve their team through the draft.
With all of this factored in, there was a wave of embarrassment after Monday’s 117-101 loss to the Boston Celtics. Boston was the team that barely nudged by the 76ers in a grind-it-out seven game series. They had only one day to rest before matching up against Philadelphia. On the other hand, the 76ers had plenty of time to rest after polishing off a weak Miami Heat team in only five games.
Embiid and Simmons were stunned at their Game 1 performance. The Celtics’ game plan of allowing Embiid and Simmons to score 2-pointers, but shutting down the 76ers’ 3-point arsenal worked, holding them to a low percentage. The Celtics came out and fought hard, unfazed by the stars of Philadelphia.
Undoubtedly, Philadelphia will change their game plan in order to turn things around. However, this series of ancient rivals may end in an upset in favor of the Celtics