East Conf. Semifinals: Philadelphia 76ers 101-117 Boston Celtics - 5 Talking Points
The Boston Celtics maintained their perfect home record in the 2018 Playoffs with a win in the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They made short work of a Sixers team coming off 20 wins in its last 21 games (including matches from the regular season), holding them to their lowest points total in the postseason so far.
Coach Brad Stevens proved that he's the best coach in the league several times over in this game. The defensive schemes the Celtics laid out to contain the 76ers' offense were as good as one could expect a team as hobbled as them to put up. Rookie Semi Ojeleye and 4th-string point guard Shane Larkin saw significant game time, even as Jaylen Brown sat the game out with a hamstring strain.
The following are the 5 biggest talking points from the game:
#5 The Sixers were way below-par from 3-point territory
Given their red-hot shooting from 3-point territory in the 5-game series they played against the Heat, this game was an outlier for the Philadelphia 76ers. They connected on just 5-of-26 attempts from long range - which was somewhat understandable given that the Celtics were the best team at defending the 3-ball through the course of the regular season.
Yet, a percentage of 19% is way below-par by any standards, as the likes of Covington, Redick, and Saric simply failed to get any kind of jump shooting rhythm going. Covington finished 0-of-4 from downtown, as did Saric. The duo combined to score only 15 in 60 minutes of game-time, while Redick went a below-par 2-of-7 from behind the arc.
Ersan Ilyasova went 0-of-3, while the Sixers' most efficient players from behind the line were Marco Belinelli (1-of-2) and, surprisingly, Joel Embiid (2-of-5).