Sixers Turnaround Starts With Better Defensive Play From Joel Embiid


During the team's impressive 117-101 Game 1 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the second-round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, Rozier lived up to his nickname.

Veteran Al Horford added 26 points as the C's picked up the slack for Jaylen Brown who sat out with the hamstring injury.

Rozier, who is filling in as the starting point guard for the injured Kyrie Irving, will likely at least have to duplicate his aforementioned home production against Philly to help combat the force that is Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the 76ers. But with six days of rest after eliminating the Miami Heat, the 76ers missed 15 of their first 20 shots and made only five of 24 from three-point range.

The Celtics defeated the Sixers 117-101 on Monday, shaking off a litany of injuries and a quick turnaround from their Game 7 win over the Bucks on Saturday to claim an early lead in the East semis. He is the first one with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a postseason game since Allen Iverson in 2001.

After the game, Joel Embiid didn't beat around the bush (via ESPN): "We're National Basketball Association players, and we have to be ready".

It worked. Simmons had 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting and had more turnovers (seven) than assists (six).

For his part, Embiid said he's excited to see what type of adjustments Brown will make for Thursday's Game 2.

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So many things went wrong for the Sixers.

I expected the 76ers to take care of business in Game 1 but perhaps the long layoff backfired on them as they weren't almost as sharp as they were in the first round.

Terry Rozier stared for the young Celtics - still missing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward - with 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Embiid scored 54.1 FanDuel points in Game 1. When you're hot, you're hot, and Rozier knows he's en fuego.

The duo have been terrific in these playoffs and produced their best performances against the Sixers last night. The Celtics played it safe for Game 1, and it's entirely possible head coach Brad Stevens and the team's medical staff will remain cautious. Obviously, the night Terry Rozier had isn't going to be replicated like it was tonight, but the Sixers will need to make sure Rozier and other sharp-shooters don't get the same open looks.

Smart's thumb took a pretty hard shot before halftime, but he said it's "all good now" with "no soreness".

"We didn't executive offensively like we wanted to every time down the floor", Simmons said.