Joel Embiid Gives Blunt and Realistic Assessment of Fake Celtics-Sixers Rivalry

20 October, 2018, 14:02 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Report Terry Rozier ain't signing no extension

BEN Simmons proved his rookie year was no fluke with a stellar performance in the opening game of the National Basketball Association season but it wasn't enough to prevent a thumping at the hands of eastern conference rivals Boston.

The Sixers, who had their season ended May 9 in the Game 5 loss to Boston, are a season better - and the Celtics a season healthier as both enter the 2018-19 season. "I see a progressive growth". As any recovery program will tell you, the first thing to do is admit there's a problem - and Embiid showed candor and spit it out.

Coming into last season, the big question surrounding Embiid was whether or not he could stay healthy for an entire season. He laid blame for last year's elimination squarely on his own shoulders and is clearly the leader of this group.

While it's anyone's guess how Fultz's game will adjust to playing off-ball nearly exclusively, and if his recently repaired shot is up for the rigors of life on the wings, but this move clearly makes both the first and second team offense better and could result in some interesting lineups throughout the game. "I wasn't allowed to help off of (Aron) Baynes, especially when he was in the corner".

With Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown in the starting lineup, Boston has two risky squads ready to jump on opposing teams' second units.

For Hayward, everything he does, each time he does it, is making him more comfortable as he prepares for the 2018-2019 season. Hayward was lost just five minutes into the season with a gruesome leg injury, but his All-Star level talent and versatility will be a welcomed skill set on both ends for Brad Stevens. "The Brock Holt example last week, going for the cycle and getting a DNP the next day is how you win".

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Hayward, in a lengthy piece in Sunday's Boston Herald, talked about the difficulty he had missing all this time. "So I think if it just happens, that's a good thing".

It's wild to think that some of the very same players that were considered stars during last year's postseason run will now transition to bench roles. The players today have more creativity than when I played.

Al Horford blocked five shots for the Celtics, who shot 43.3 per cent from the field and were 11 of 37 from three-point range.

The 28-year-old was playing his first regular-season game since badly breaking his left ankle in last season's opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Yeah, definitely some animosity", says Boston's Jayson Tatum. Rivalries are usually a little more even than 7-2. "We don't play for anything else". We had a lot of good matchups with them past year, a lot of good battles, especially in the playoffs. We're excited, they're excited.

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