Well that was gross. The Celtics opened their season about as poorly as possible losing 107-93 to a clearly superior Philadelphia 76ers team.
The Celtics played fairly well for the first 12 minutes but then everything went south, fast.
Where to begin..
An absolutely horrific debut for the Celtics prized free agent acquisition aka Kyrie Irving’s replacement. (Irving by the way dropped 50 points in his Nets debut tonight) Walker went 4-for-18 from the field, 1-for-6 from three and finished with 12 points and a -18. He looked tentative all night.
All the talk of the improvements Tatum made and the de-Kobe-fication of his game….didn’t see it. Tatum settled for several long contested shots. He put up 21 points on a very inefficient 8-for-22 shooting night.
Enes Kanter started and wasn’t horrible (12 pts, 6 rebs, -12) and Robert Williams showed some flashes. More importantly they survived Joel Embiid and Al Horford who combined for only 31 pts on 10-for-27 shooting. Rebounding however….oof. The Celtics were annihilated on the glass 62-41. Sure the Sixers have a lot of size but getting killed on the glass like that every night is not tenable.
36.7% FG (33-90)
29.9% 3-pt-FG (7-26)
58.8% FT (20-34)
4 fouls in the first half. Barely played in the second half. No opportunity to get into any kind of rhythm. Not the debut the $115 million dollar man was looking for.
The lone bright spot was Gordon Hayward. He really picked it up in the second half when the Celtics were struggling to create any offense. He took it to the hole with authority and got to the free throw a bunch finishing with 11 attempts. Hayward finished with a team high 25 points.
Other than that, nothing to see here folks. You can easily chalk this up as ‘just one game’ but a lot of the problems from last year remain (questionable shot selection, poor rebounding.) Obviously more time on the floor together should help but for one night this looked like a Celtics team without any identity whatsoever. They’ll go searching for one in their home opener against the defending champion Toronto Raptors.