The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are locked into a bitter playoff battle, taking their rivalry to a new level. Unfortunately for the 76ers, the Celtics hold a 2-0 lead in the series after a 108-103 win tonight. Even more disappointing news for the 76ers, Boston has never lost a series (36-0) when leading a playoff series 2-0.
Brett Brown has to be concerned about his young roster. Philadelphia came into this series playing their best basketball of the season, but they have not looked the same against Boston. They are even playing a Boston team that is without star point guard Kyrie Irving and star forward Gordon Hayward.
Ben Simmons was the biggest disappointment for the 76ers in Game 2, scoring just one point and taking four shots. Philadelphia is not going to win a single game in this series with their star point guard playing like that. J.J. Redick scored 23 for the 76ers, while both Robert Covington and Joel Embiid topped the 20-point mark with 22 and 20 respectively.
Terry Rozier continued his impressive play for the Celtics, racking up 20 points to go along with nine assists and seven rebounds. Jayson Tatum scored 21 for Boston and Marcus Smart scored 19. Boston’s double-digit scorers were rounded out by Al Horford (13), Jaylen Brown (13), and Marcus Morris (11).
All of that being said, what three things can the 76ers take away from their Game 2 loss against the Celtics?
The @celtics come back from 22 down and win Game 2 at home!— NBA (@NBA) May 4, 2018
BOS defeats @sixers 108-103 to take a 2-0 series lead!
Terry Rozier: 20 PTS, 9 AST, 7 REB
Jayson Tatum: 21 PTS
Marcus Smart: 19 PTS, 5 REB#CUsRise #NBAPlayoffs
Joel Embiid: 20 PTS, 14 REB, 5 AST
JJ Redick: 23 PTS pic.twitter.com/7GvakwWRA5
Ben Simmons Cannot Play Scared
There is a chance that Simmons wasn’t scared of the moment, but it certainly appeared that he was hesitant to be aggressive. He is young and does not have a lot of playoff experience, but one point is not acceptable. Philadelphia needs a big game from Simmons in Game 3 to cut their series deficit in half.
Terry Rozier Has To Be Slowed Down
Even though he is not the normal starting point guard for the Celtics, Rozier is proving that he deserves a starting job somewhere. Rozier has been a force to be reckoned with during the postseason, but the 76ers must find a way to slow him down. If they continue giving Rozier everything he wants, it is going to be a short series.
Philadelphia Must Be More Aggressive Going To The Rim
Only shooting 14 free throws came back to haunt the 76ers in Game 2, with the Celtics making five more foul shots than Philadelphia even attempted. That ratio isn’t going to bode well for the 76ers in this series. Brett Brown will need to get his team to be much more aggressive taking the basketball to the rim moving forward.