May 18, 2024


A late rally wasn’t sufficient, which is a well-known story.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey goes up for a shot in opposition to Boston Celtics’ Al Horford. AP Picture/Matt Slocum

The Celtics dropped their second recreation in a row on Wednesday, falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 106-103 in a chaotic end.

Listed here are the takeaways.

1. With the 76ers main 104-90 and just below two minutes remaining, Jaylen Brown hit a 3-pointer.

The shot was considerably noteworthy, if for no different purpose than it broke a nightmarish streak of missed pictures and turnovers for Brown, who struggled mightily till the ultimate minutes of the fourth. It additionally might have mildly piqued the curiosity of Celtics followers on the verge of adjusting the channel.

On the subsequent possession, Kristaps Porzingis hooked in a two and was fouled. He made the free throw. The lead was right down to eight.

The Celtics had an opportunity, however they wanted to be good, which was a well-known chorus. Final yr’s workforce all the time appeared to have a late-game push that always appeared to return up simply quick.

This yr’s workforce discovered itself in the identical place. The Sixers combusted down the stretch, scoring solely two factors within the closing 2:26 of the sport, and impossibly, the Celtics discovered themselves down simply three on the ultimate possession. The Sixers gave up a wide-open look to Porzingis within the closing seconds, however the shot grazed the entrance rim, and the sport was over.

The Celtics wanted to be good down the stretch to have an opportunity, and perfection required Porzingis to make that shot. Because the Celtics discovered repeatedly final yr, perfection down the stretch to make up for earlier errors shouldn’t be an affordable recreation plan.

2. The Sixers regarded tougher to defend with Tyrese Maxey rather than James Harden — a lightning-fast guard flying up and down the ground in search of transition baskets, flipping in floaters, and firing 3-pointers out of the pick-and-roll from 28 toes. If Maxey can’t discover offense, the Sixers have an amazing half-court choice in Joel Embiid.

Maxey was inefficient on Wednesday, scoring 25 factors on 11-for-27 capturing, however his type of play would possibly match the Sixers higher in the long term. Harden is perhaps a system, but when he’s, Tyrese Maxey is perhaps a greater one.

3. Contemporary off watching Jrue Vacation frustrate Karl-Anthony Cities (and Julius Randle within the season opener), Joe Mazzulla tried his luck with Vacation on Embiid to start out the sport. Excluding one monstrous dunk, Embiid missed a few pictures early, coughed the ball up, and usually regarded puzzled by the smaller defender.

The excellent news is that sure, Jrue Vacation is an exceptional defender. The unhealthy information for the Celtics, no less than early within the yr whereas his legs are nonetheless beneath him, their options for Embiid aside from Vacation don’t look significantly good. Porzingis specifically couldn’t do a lot in regards to the Sixers’ star, which was to be anticipated in idea however nonetheless regarded ugly at instances in follow. Embiid completed with 27 factors and 10 rebounds.

4. The most important problem for the Celtics was a troublesome efficiency by their two stars. Jayson Tatum dropped 16 factors on 6-for-14 capturing, and whereas he pulled down 15 rebounds, he by no means regarded significantly dynamic on the offensive finish.

Brown, in the meantime, redeemed himself a bit late with a pair of 3-pointers and a block on Maxey that gave the Celtics an opportunity within the closing seconds, however earlier than that, he had his worst recreation of the season. Brown missed his first 5 3-pointers and wracked up 4 turnovers. The ugliest got here with 10 minutes left within the fourth quarter when he tried to dribble via stress within the backcourt and acquired the ball poked away from behind. The whole sequence had a sense of inevitability as quickly because it grew to become clear Brown was intent on breaking the stress himself.

If both of the Celtics’ greatest gamers may have cracked the code in opposition to the Sixers, Wednesday in all probability would have regarded lots completely different.

5. Al Horford was 1-for-6 from deep. Derrick White was 3-for-11. Brown was 2-for-7. Tatum and Porzingis had been 2-for-6. Payton Pritchard was 0-for-2. The three-point capturing was unhealthy regardless of numerous beauty, and the Celtics stayed alive partially as a result of the Sixers had been someway worse at 9-for-34 (26.5 %).

6. Porzingis had a pleasant offensive recreation, dropping a team-high 29 factors thanks partially to eight free-throw makes an attempt. The Celtics did a greater job of involving him within the offense than they did in opposition to the Timberwolves, which was a small brilliant spot on a night when their common stars couldn’t meet expectations.

What went improper on the ultimate shot?

“As I went into the shot, I went into it as if it was a midrange shot and jumped greater,” Porzingis told reporters. “I don’t normally try this.”

7. Was Embiid standing on the baseline right here after he grabbed the rebound? It regarded shut.

The Celtics, in fact, can’t fairly use this as lifeline — as soon as once more, counting on perfection received’t get you far. However one final chunk on the apple may need been attention-grabbing to observe.

8. The Celtics missed Derrick White within the lineup in opposition to the Timberwolves, and he scored 19 factors on 18 pictures in his first recreation again after the start his baby. White’s offensive progress has been fascinating — the Celtics have instructed him again and again to be aggressive and search for his shot, and it’s straightforward to see why when he crashes into Embiid, maintains his stability and finishes off glass over the large shot blocker.

9. If it wasn’t for Vacation (2-for-3) and Sam Hauser (3-for-6), the Celtics’ 3-point numbers would look much more disastrous. Hauser’s emergence from his early struggles is a constructive after two robust losses. Getting some bench manufacturing — particularly as Pritchard’s struggles proceed — could be an enormous increase.

10. The Celtics have a busy weekend. They begin their in-season match motion on Friday after they face the Nets at TD Backyard, then face the Raptors the subsequent evening at residence once more earlier than the Knicks arrive in Boston for a recreation on Monday.