Game 1 tipped off last week, and it went terribly for the Celtics as they fell to a 78-47 loss. Philadelphia’s virtual game plan was apparent from the opening tip, and adjustments didn’t come quick enough to contain it. They were playing a fast-paced penetration game, continually putting the pressure on Daniel Theis and Jayson Tatum, with results going their way on almost every possession.
Liberty Ballers’ Tom West made it clear from the first time out that he didn’t value what 2K Al Horford brings to the table, instead opting to add additional firepower with Matisse Thybulle in the corner. Unfortunately, he made the right call, because as soon as the adjustments to closing down Embiid and Simmons were made, there was a deep ball threat just chilling in the corners unguarded.
On the Celtics side, the game plan was to flood the paint and keep the ball out of Embiid’s hands, with the bonus of forcing Simmons to shoot jump shots instead of layups. Yeah, that didn’t work. Tom did a great job of running motion offense down low to seal the defenders and get some easy buckets.
It wasn’t until Enes Kanter joined the lineup that Boston began to see any modicum of success, with his offensive rebounds being invaluable to keeping the score from being even more embarrassing than what it was. Jaylen Brown finished the game as Boston’s top scorer with 15 points, one rebound, and two steals on 7-for-9 shooting, while Jayson Tatum scraped together 9 points, three rebounds, and an assist on 4-of-9 shooting.
As the game wore on, the Sixers pulled even further away, countering every Boston run with a flurry of deep range bombs. The combination of length, strength, and dead-eye accuracy beyond the arch proved too much to overcome. If you want to watch the replay of the game or catch the live stream of future games, you can find the Twitch channel here.