Congrats Boston Celtics

On May 9th, 2018 you defeated the greatest basketball team on planet Earth, my Philadelphia 76ers.

I’ve never seen a team so well coached in a while. Led by coach Brad Stevens, your team was an absolute force on both ends of the floor.

With the unfortunate injuries of your two superstars: Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, many have doubted that your team would go deep in the playoffs. Even myself, as I wrote in my playoff preview post:

“We will beat the Celtics off talent alone.”

Little did I and many others know, your team’s supporting cast was filled with talent the entire time.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Led by all-star veteran Al Horford. I’ve gained so much respect for Horford during this series. When Kyrie and Gordon got injured, not a lot of people remembered that the Celtics still had Horford. He’s an absolute beast on offense and defense. I lost count of how many tough shots Horford made against us, and it was all skill, not luck. His offensive IQ is elite. Defensively, he’s up there too. He was able to guard both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. He can make the big plays when they need it. Remember, he hit that big shot against Embiid in game 2 and he created a huge 6 pt swing all by himself in game 5, it was ridiculous.

Then there was Terry Rozier, the friggin’ “back up.” This guy’s not a backup, he’s a starter for a lot of teams. This dude can make the big 3 or make the big layup, it was almost like Kyrie never left.

Then Jaylen Brown. Jaylen’s been pissing me off since Summer League. Seriously, why was he even there? But it clearly helped him. The guy who couldn’t shoot 3’s, was draining 3’s…confidently. And he was coming off an injury.

Then the rookie Jayson Tatum. I’ve always liked his game since high school, very Melo like. In this series, Tatum was a one-on-one assassin. We couldn’t guard him. He had moves upon moves and a jumper that was money. He’s a great player.

So congrats Boston. Don’t get it twisted, I still hope you get destroyed by LeBron James like last year. Even if it means that LeBron won’t go to Philly (assuming he leaves Cleveland like the time Boston beat him years back), I will never root for a Boston team.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

For my Sixers, this series has exposed every single issue our young team has, which is an unfortunate blessing.

Besides game 1, every single game was winnable for our Sixers.

Game 2, we wasted a 20 point lead. Game 3, we turned it over. Game 5, we didn’t execute.

Was it immaturity? Was it stupidity? Was it lack of execution? Was it lack of talent?

It was everything.

A) Our offensive system sucks.

I never want to see Robert CovingtonErsan Ilyasova, or Marco Belinelli dribble the basketball ever again. We need guys who can put the ball on the floor and create. In the semifinals level of the playoffs, every team had a player who could break down the defense by putting the ball on the floor, EXCEPT US.

Literally Donovan Mitchell dominated this postseason off a simple pick and roll. Mitchell’s speed and athleticism, combined with his jumpshot, allowed him to hold the defense hostage every time he got the ball. He could either: pull up for a shot, drive in for a layup, or dish it out to a shooter. It worked a bunch of times.

James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston spent the entire season playing in a simple isolation offense that relied on Harden and CP3’s ability to put the ball on the floor and create. Harden can take anybody one-on-one and CP3 is a pick and roll gawd. Then if they get doubled, they pass the ball out to their shooters.

AND HERE we are. I don’t blame Brett Brown for the philosophy of passing the basketball, I still think it’s the best way to break down a defense. But it’s how we’re passing the basketball. Our offense is a freestyle/freelance/on the fly decision making offense, with a few sets here and there. But it’s mostly a pass and screen offense. You’re basically praying for JJ Redick or Marco Belinelli to get open.

The issue is, without the threat of putting the ball on the floor, it’s easy to defend. Besides JJ , Jojo, and Dario Saric, we don’t have guys that can really do that, and with Boston’s athletic defenders, it was a wrap.

I hope we can focus on running similar systems like Utah and Houston. We don’t have to force guys like RoCo to put the ball on the floor, but put him in the corner waiting for a pass. Did you notice how much better we were when TJ McConnell was on the floor? His ability to create, which isn’t super elite, was enough to get our offense going.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

B) Ben Simmons is a liability

This is a big issue. I’ve been able to defend Ben Simmons all season long, but I can’t really defend his performance in this series, it was abysmal. Boston exposed every issue Ben has.

Ben’s lack of a jumpshot is the biggest problem Ben has to fix, and if Ben left this series believing that he doesn’t need to add a reliable jumpshot to his game, then seriously suck one Ben, you’re an asshole if you believe that…honestly. Now I will give it to him though, Ben shot wayyy better at the free throw line in the postseason, which shows that he is kinda working on shooting. Sadly he’s still shooting left-handed (I really think he’s right handed). But yeah back on topic, Ben needs a jumpshot.

Without that jumpshot, defending Ben was a piece of cake, you just had to dare him to shoot. BUT it didn’t just help Boston defend Ben. Since he can’t shoot, Boston defenders were able to sag off of him and help other defenders, and you remember point A?? Yeah we got guys who can’t even dribble, so defending us was easy as hell.

Once Ben gets at least a TJ McConnell baby midrange jumper, defenders will have to come closer, and Ben will finally use his speed to blow past defenders and use his athleticism and IQ to grab us two or three points every possession.

C) We lack athleticism and speed defensively

I’ve always thought that a team would eventually exploit us having Marco, Dario, and Ersan on defense; and here came Boston. How many times did I see Marco get blown right thru? And why did we think Ben could keep up with Terry Rozier?

The talk of Kawhi Leonard and PG13 is intriguing. They’re exactly what we need. Or maybe we can get Mikal Bridges? We are getting Jonah Bolden next season…

D) We need Markelle Fultz

Remember my earlier post? That the answer to all our problems was Markelle Fultz? (And lebron…)

It’s still true.

E) We’re young and stupid

From Ben Simmons not passing the ball out after an offensive rebound with the shot clock dead to Joel Embiid not finishing the game tying bucket in Game 5. From Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid shooting with the wrong hand, to Ben Simmons missing a wide open dunk. From JJ Redick passing it to Ben Simmons’ back, to Joel Embiid passing it out of bounds.

So many mistakes that you shouldn’t see at this level. I’m really praying it’s just our youth. There’s hope, Jojo got really good in the post this series, it might’ve been the best I’ve seen him inside his whole career. And Ben Simmons was really doing work at the end of game 5.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

…so congrats Boston. See yall at the NBA lottery.

Advertisements

One Last Miracle? (Sixers vs. Celtics Game 5)

Did you believe?

Did you still tune in to game 5? Did you still believe that our Sixers, as raw and immature as we are, were going to go into Boston and steal a must win game??

I did…

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

For some strange reason, I believed that we could do it. It wasn’t too outrageous. We kinda had game 2, we kinda had game 3, and we had a brilliant game 4 performance. So why not?

One thing that defines this Sixers squad is that we grow. Throughout the season, I watched our little guys grow. And today, although we didn’t finish with the W, I saw growth.

We had another AWFUL end to the 2nd quarter, similar to game 2, except this time, instead of Boston coming back to cut the lead, Boston was extending their lead. At halftime, Boston was up 9.

At this point, we could’ve easily gave up. Boston could’ve took over and ran us out of Boston, but we didn’t give up. Our dudes GRINDED. Joel Embiid was dominant in the 3rd quarter. He was hitting some beautiful post up moves and getting to the line. It was a short glimpse of what Jojo can grow to be. Then he was killing it on defense as well. On two possessions, Jojo locked up Tatum and Rozier at the perimeter. Dario Saric was banging it inside and just being Dario, all hustle. Robert Covington had a rough series but he made a few big plays to help us in the 2nd half. We made one hell of a run to end the 3rd and TJ McConnell almost hit a buzzer beater to take the lead. That 3rd quarter was admirable.

Then in the 4th, Al Horford made a great stretch of plays to get Boston back up 6. But AGAIN, we grinded back. I saw Ben Simmons, yes Ben, take over in the 4th and show glimpses of a killer. Hitting some big shots late.

But again, we had to go back and forth with Boston in the final minutes, and it’s not fun. I swear Boston didn’t miss at all, but we responded every time. Jojo had a shot to tie the game, we fed him inside, and he had perfect position on Baynes…but missed. JJ hit a huge 3 late, but missed an important 3 earlier that would’ve helped. It’s just unfortunate…but oh well…these dudes have to grow, even JJ.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

In the end, we couldn’t overcome our stupidity and youth, and Boston punished us, as they did all series.

Not the result I wanted, but I’m just glad we fought til the end. I’m glad that we didn’t go out like losers (technically we are losers, but u get it cmon). This series was an eye-opener for our team and a great learning experience. I have two more Sixers posts…I have to say nice things about Boston and of course, the season recap…that’s gonna be a longgg post…so much to say about this team.

Bye

1st

  • tj starting again
  • tj quick 2
  • there’s ben floating in the paint for a jumper…easy 2
  • boston beating us in iso both brown n tatum
  • horford is really good man…beats dario inside
  • tj 3
  • nice 7-0 run…got embiid inside on a mismatch inside…we’re still banging it inside and being effective
  • still no justin anderson…marco in , just got beat on d by marcus smart
  • marco getting beat, cant guard perimeter
  • marco got beat again…foul, boston at the line
  • jojo doesnt look comfy
  • ersan really missed 2 free throws

2nd

  • Jojo is playing really well, but man TJ really tryin to guard tatum…Tatum’s too good and beating us. Our defensive matchups are killing us
  • ben simmons looks LOST
  • there goes marco getting beat again for a foul
  • stop turning the ball over jojo, we’re seriously having communication issues in the 2nd r0und of the playoffs
  • we’re really so much better with TJ…Ben really needs another ball handler
  • horford really is the most underappreciated player in nba
  • sloppy ending here
  • yeah rozier and baynes 3….down 9 at half…jesus christ

3rd

  • jj ghost
  • get the rebound man…..second chance points
  • ben simmons just did a 360 no scope bank shot
  • another jojo miscommunication with jj, and simmons ran into jj earlier…what is going on
  • Note: in brett’s system…there’s so much decision making to be made on the fly, so it’s prone to turnovers….we really need to rehaul our offense
  • jojo beautiful spin …fake..gets foul and-1
  • justin anderson is in
  • jojo tech…lost composure
  • jojo beating up inside…gets fouled….he’s really showing some nice moves inside this game
  • jojo again…good drop step
  • make ur free throws man
  • dario 3…down 4
  • another jojo bad pass to jj….man wtf
  • tj spins and penetrates…jojo off board n gets fouled…it’s clear what we need….also make ur damn free throws
  • jojo just locked down tatum n terry on the perimeter
  • dont jump jojo
  • jj bs 3…down 1
  • TJ just missed a buzzer beater to give us the lead…we need to roll with TJ to end this…bring Justin anderson back too….feed Embiid…but im scared they’re all tired 😦

4th

  • theyre beating on redick on the post
  • roco hit a big 3…then had a great strip on other end…we took the lead kinda
  • It really pisses me off seeing embiid chillin at the 3 pt line….get our big man inside
  • al horford just killed us …4 pts on offense…forces turnover on dario for another 2 on other end…down by 6
  • DARIO 3…SIMMONS  INSIDE…take the lead
  • SIMMONS HOOK SHOT
  • JJ missed
  • Dario turnover….missed assignment on other end…boston takes the lead
  • went to jojo late….missed
  • JJ did make a last 3…but no timeouts…ben has to force a hail mary…game over…season over.

TJ McConnell Forever (Sixers vs. Celtics Game 4)

Down 0-3 in the series, after Boston ate our souls in overtime, Brett Brown had to make a move. What will Coach do to stop these Celtics? Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris….

The Answer: TJ McConnell.

We’ve seen game-winner TJ, we’ve seen triple double TJ, and now we got PLAYOFF TJ.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

TJ’s always done this. He’s always provided energy on both ends of the court. Whether it’s that patented TJ pull up jumper/fadeaway or his inbound steals. But today, we saw a different TJ. He wasn’t just a killer, he was an assassin. Taking it inside multiple times for easy layups and he even squeezed in a 3. Then he was dishin some nice passes as well, giving Ben some easy dunks inside. Don’t forget the good ol TJ hustle, he grabbed a huge offensive rebound over Baynes for another 2 points. Lastly, TJ gives us defense on the perimeter, something that’s killing us in this series.

TJ took this game in his hands. Sheesh… the entire arena was in his hands, TJ was floating. By the end of the game, TJ put up a CAREER HIGH in points (think it was 19).

But that wasn’t it, another key change was taking the ball inside. We beat Boston inside, especially Dario, who had a few bang em up, bully post-up scores inside. It did help that we had the refs on our side. It says a lot when Dario’s finally getting calls. I did notice Ben Simmons was getting extremely good looks inside too. I seen one play where Ben was parked directly under the basket, which was where he should’ve been all series long.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

At least we didn’t get swept, that was my worst nightmare. But I had a feeling we would grab this one, and I’m glad our little dudes didn’t let me down.

Will we win game 5 in Boston? Defensively, we were a lot better this game. I don’t think the refs will be this kind next game, which will make it tougher for us to bang inside. We’ll have to continue shooting. Can we at least squeeze out one more game where we go off from 3? We haven’t had one since game 1 in Miami. If we can finally connect from 3, we can take game 5. But if the 3 isn’t there, thankfully we have TJ, who really opens up our offense as a ball handler and shooter. The offense is a lot smoother with TJ as the main ball handler and Ben helping on the side. Hard to believe, but TJ really is the x-factor for the rest of the series.

Couple other things:

Yeah Justin Anderson should get some minutes for Roco. Roco didn’t do too bad when he came back later in the game (hit a big 3 and played some good D).

We really need athleticism on the wings.

1st

  • TJ Mcconnell started over Roco
  • dario finally getting calls
  • good dish by TJ to ben…jeez man
  • lot of dario posting up
  • 2 quick 3’s by guys who weren’t supposed to shoot this well…brown n tatum sigh
  • still not shooting well
  • Cov really really not doing well…2nd foul after a miss
  • It’s becoming clearer and clearer what we need. More athleticism on the wings and guys who can put the ball on the floor, unless Brett Brown changes the system. Cov cannot put the ball on the floor, etc. I talked about it last game.

2nd

  • darios banging inside
  • it is weird that justin anderson’s not getting minutes
  • i think jj redick just missed two free throws
  • jojo rozier scuffle
  • jojo and rozier exchange 3’s
  • jojo and rozier exhance layups/dunks to end half
  • Still ridiculously close, I feel the refs are helping us and giving us better calls. But as long as Celtics keep it close, we’re screwed. We need to drain our 3’s and pull away

3rd

  • wow we got ben simmons deep on horford…easy bucket
  • good run…8 pts now…tj mcconnell doin work…dish n swish
  • tatum beating dario
  • tj dish to ben simmons dunk
  • tj mcconnell thru rozier
  • we’re up 10 now
  • why are the boston celtics out threeing us
  • brad stevens and jaylen brown both get techs
  • tj 3…up 14
  • roco hustlin n playin good d
  • oh thank god…into 4th with 11 pt lead. Best quarter of basketball so far this series. Great hustle and energy by TJ.

4th

  • u know it’s our day when Dario’s finally getting calls….and -1
  • roco finally makes a 3
  • tj mcconnell drive and finish…MY DUDE
  • tj’s floating out there….just led a fastbreak and hit a no look to Roco, who missed sadly but man TJ’s on fire…i love u TJ
  • dario’s been playing great…baby jumper…still up double digits
  • tj mcconnell career high

The Confetti Game (Sixers vs. Celtics Game 3)

Please tell me we’re just young and stupid…

Please tell me that we just don’t know any better…

Some of the shit I just saw go down was stuff that doesn’t make ANY sense. Like, we turned it over twice with the game on the line… AND not just that … we gave the ball up and gave Boston a chance to win the game twice. We got away with it the first time, thanks to Marco Belinelli hitting his patented off balance jumper to send it to OT, but you’re not gonna get away with it the 2nd time. The second time, Ben throws a bounce pass to Embiid and Horford was able to poke it out from behind like an NFL DB.

There was also Ben Simmons missing a wide open dunk. Then there was Ben Simmons missing an easy put back after an offensive rebound, WHERE he should’ve just took the ball back outside with the shot clock dead. Then there was JJ Redick (this guys 33 years old), who passes the ball off Simmons back, which was saved by Marco, but I won’t forget that.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Is it coaching???? Is it just being dumb???

One thing that Boston clearly has over us is that they have players that can put the ball on the floor and create. We don’t have that. I mean, Jojo yeah… as sloppy as Dario is, yeah he can kinda get it inside …uhh Ben, well without a jumper or the will to take a shot, that doesn’t really count…JJ kinda, but he’s not really looking to put the ball on the floor like that. But you get it, we don’t have guys that can create. We just got killed by Jayson Tatum creating all over us in the late stages of the game.

And our offense is not sustainable. Yeah, we live and die by the 3, but our screening and passing is so turnover prone and it cost us late. Do you really expect JJ Redick to be wide open running off screens all the time? Or Ersan or Marco to roll off and hit open shots all the time?? As you climb higher and higher, teams play better defense. It’s easy to beat our passing and off ball screens by being physical or having athletic defenders to cancel it out. It should be a priority to find guys that can put the ball on the floor and score.

I’m praying that Markelle Fultz will find basketball Jesus this offseason because THIS IS THE EXACT MOMENT WE NEEDED HIM. Or maybe LeBron to Philly comes true. Otherwise, we’re kinda screwed, but I’ll get to that later…and that doesn’t seem like too long as our season looks just about done since we’re down 0-3 in the series with 2 games left to play in Boston.

Dammit man…

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Other stuff, well… Covington was just absolutely awful today and didn’t make a single shot. We need to find some way to give TJ McConnell more minutes. Can we at least try Markelle Fultz now???

You can tell Ben Simmons heard all the hate from last game. He came out more aggressive today, but that missed dunk was a killer man. Almost made me forget about it all. Then he came out the next drive clearly trying to make up for the miss by forcing another dumb shot.

Joel Embiid is the only guy that gives me hope on this squad. His fire today was admirable. Yeah he was a bit inefficient and missed a lot of shots, but him posting up and working inside should be our main focus. He’s our cheat code. That’s why it was so frustrating to see us avoid him late in the game, and when we did, we gave him the ball a million miles away from the basket. Lastly, Embiid really needs a good trainer in the offseason. No way he should be getting blocked by Al Horford. I saw some bad technique, and he only used his left hand once. Jojo got a lot of potential to be a dominant offensive player.

Is it being young and dumb?? Is it the coaching? Is it the system??? At least one more game for me to find out…

1st

  • Ben simmons early 2 points
  • Need to take advantage of Embiid on Baynes and Simmons on horford
  • Getting killed by tatum
  • 4 minute drought, seems like celtics have guys that can score one on one off the dribble
  • wow our offense is dead…roco missing everything
  • back on that earlier point, we really need players who can put it on the floor like the celtics…it makes it so much easier for them to defend shooters who can’t dribble like cov, marco, dario (sometimes)
  • feel like jojo’s getting better and better in the post
  • 12-0 run after embiid block
  • Why are we doing really well when McConnell’s on the floor? Glad we got our shooting back, but i feel Boston’s missing shots too.

2nd

  • marcus morris is great, defending and able to create his own shot
  • tatum charge for 3rd foul early in 2nd
  • jojo gettin good looks against baynes but ball not cooperating
  • brown just blocked dario in the post
  • this offense is shit
  • two ersan 3’s
  • dario 3
  • dario and 1…nvm
  • simmons slam
  • Of course Ben Simmons does that, he’s unstoppable when he’s rolling downhill full speed to the rim…do something Brett …jesus
  • Embiid just MURDERED Baynes
  • simmons layup off simmons/embiid pick n roll ….see
  • MARCO 3 up 7
  • 13-0 run
  • jaylen brown open 3 cuts lead to 3 ….dang it really wanted the 7 pt lead

3rd

  • Embiid is going to win the game for us…well we can also hit some 3’s, but again, jojo is our cheat code…use him, offensively and defensively
  • cov cant guard rozier
  • simmons two straight jumpers
  • Jojo gotta learn to use his left hand…he needs a really really good trainer in the offseason that can teach him how to dominate in the post, he doesnt need to learn to take jumpers…give him Hakeem Olajuwon in the offseason please

4th

  • Embiid battling baynes….got baynes to foul out …nvm
  • tatum blasts by cov
  • heres horford…back to back
  • both teams going at it…great hustle on both sides …still tied
  • ben simmons just missed a wide open dunk smh
  • Tatum misses two free throws
  • rozier goes by simmons
  • EMBIID YAM ON HORFORD
  • REDICK HUGE 2
  • Ben playing some good defense…need to get the ball to Embiid late…stop being fancy, jojo’s dominated down low, give it to him brett
  • TURNED THE BALL OVER ON LAST PLAY…BOSTON SCORES TO TAKE THE LEAAD WHAT EH FUCK WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK HOW HARD IS IT TO GIVE THE BALL TO EMBIID
  • of course a Marco fade to tie it at the end OH MY FUCKING GOD.

OT

  • JJ AND MARCO UP 5
  • embiid just got subbed out
  • embiid got put back in…what the fuck
  • JJ AGAIN up 4
  • tatum saving boston
  • another stupid turnover
  • Ben simmons is a smart guy…but he didn’t know that he shoulda took the foul instead of a shot…huge…boston has one shot down 1
  • tossed it over roco to horford…dont know why cov didnt stay inside
  • Ben simmons turnover…horford free throws…no time outs
  • marco misses…lost

 

We Blew a 21 Point Lead (Sixers vs. Celtics Game 2)

Why can’t I be happy?

The first 19 minutes of this game was amazing. We were destroying the hell out of Boston. JJ Redick was hitting everything. Roco was making everything. Most importantly, our defense was unreal. Our one-on-one defense was spectacular. All of a sudden dudes were locking down the perimeter and forcing bad shots by Boston, exactly what we wanted. Boston was literally throwing up prayers with the shot clock going to zero. Absolute gorgeous defense. We got the lead up to twenty friggin one points. I had to be dreaming.

Now in the very back of my mind (I’m talkin wayyyyy back in my mind, like you gotta go thru security and hop a fence), I just knew that this lead wasn’t safe. We’ve seen it happen before. I know this team goes on scoring droughts and it just seemed like a Sixers thing to do. But of course, this Sixers squad was “different.” We had vets. Ben Simmons wasn’t a rookie. We had Embiid.

…and we still fucking blew it.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

This game was determined by a disastrous end of the 1st half. Yeahhh I know there was an entire 2nd half where we could’ve still won, but you know damn well that Boston sucked the life out of us and completely dicked us (excuse my language) to end the 1st half. It wasn’t smart basketball by us. We lost all energy. Boston picked up the pace and killed us. They outhustled us, which was the fucking worst. Our transition defense was pathetic, guys weren’t running back, and all of a sudden our defense broke into pieces. They grabbed rebounds, offensive rebounds. Boston took advantage and the Garden erupted. That beautiful 19 minutes of basketball was erased just like that. I haven’t felt this awful in a long time…shit was really horrible.

We were still leading, but Boston got all their confidence back. Now, they were picking apart our defense. Boston’s offense really relies on their top ball handlers breaking the defense and passing it out for the open guy. They’re so good at it. Rozier and Tatum can take anybody one-on-one and force our defenders to go off their man and help, then they pass it out and eventually the team finds the open shot. It’s simple but it works. We did amazing stopping this in the first 19 minutes, but after that, Boston broke us apart. I don’t know if it was us being tired. Boston could’ve pushed it even more but they kept missing shots.

But at least we kept fighting, I guess. We coulda easily lost by 20 but guys like Jojo, Roco, TJ, and JJ kept fighting for this team and I love them for that. Especially TJ McConnell man. Keep in mind this dude was losing minutes, but he came into a tough Boston playoff environment and …kept playing like TJ McConnell. He was dishing, swishing, and playing defense; what more can you ask for?

Here’s some things to note:

A) EMBIID is our cheat code, use him. Get him deeper in the post and have him work inside there. Stop shooting 3’s. Even though Jojo makes some big 3’s every now and then (made a big one today), it’s basically a turnover or forfeiting a position.

B) JJ Redick was amazing. Shame we couldn’t win this game for him. His shooting was perfect and exactly what we signed him for.

C) Practice your layups RoCo …jeez man. But hell of a shooting night for RoCo.

Sucks because we needed to take one in Boston. We screwed up game 1, and screwed up even more in game 2. Still a 7 game series. I have faith that we’ll win both in Philly, but you know…Sixers things.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

You wanna know the worst thing of it all???

Ben Simmons played like a bitch.

I’m sorry for cursing, I don’t know if it breaks the rules here at WordPress, but I can’t find a better word to describe the absolute shitshow that Ben Simmons put out there.

1 Fucking Point…

Remember my earlier post, like wayyyyy earlier in the season, like 5 months ago where I said that Ben Simmons should be benched for TJ McConnell late in games because he’s useless in late game situations….well my dude, here we are in the PLAYOFFS and when I saw Ben Simmons ready to come back into the game with 5 minutes left in the 4th, I literally yelled out “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Ben Simmons was absolutely useless….the ENTIRE game…not just late in the game. He was missing layups. He split his free throws, like always. He wasn’t even looking to score either, he was just like a pinball bumper, hitting balls back to other players. Shit, I saw one of our guys look at Ben Simmons when the shot clock was running out and he KNEW Ben wasn’t gonna make the shot, so he went for another player.

Even throughout the season, when Ben was playing well, I’d get frustrated watching him play because he can be wayyy better. So you can imagine how frustrating tonight was…it was frustration times one billion. I still type this with confidence: There is nobody on the floor that can guard Ben Simmons. He is faster than Baynes, Horford. Bigger than Rozier. Tatum’s a bit better of a matchup, but Ben still got him. Yet here we are not giving Ben Simmons enough space to create or drive. Remember my Ben Simmons post, just put the dude in a pick and roll with Embiid and let him have the option to either hit his beautiful right handed hook or pass it out to an open shooter. Sadly, even if we gave him the space, he would just pass it off either way.

I know Ben Simmons isn’t a scorer, but I still said he’d average at least 10 ppg…man if we got just 10 points out of him, we woulda had a chance, but the motherfucker put up 1 POINT.

And all of this is multiplied by a billion with the success of other rookies like Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum; don’t even remind me that Markelle is sitting because he’s useless too. It’s really not fun being a fan of this team right now (regular season was fun). It’s amazing how we missed on the draft like that. Please tell me I’m overreacting.

It’s really sad. I’ve been defending Ben Simmons with all my heart, but this was so fucking pathetic that I don’t even wanna look at my Simmons jersey.

Ideally, we will look back at this game years from now and laugh. “Hey remember that game where Ben Simmons played like shit in Boston?? Funny times man!” Hopefully, we’ll laugh. Or this could be the night we realized our #1 draft pick was a bust.

Game 3 on Saturday. Holy fuck man….sorry wordpress

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

1st

  • redick opening 3
  • jojo n ben missing easy layups
  • REDICK all 8 pts early
  • a lot better defense so far, need aggressive ben simmons still
  • dario diggin inside
  • ben simmons drives inside for an easy foul
  • stupid turnovers…everybody except jj missing
  • the day covington finishes a constested layup….
  • stupid foul on smart
  • jj shot…up 10
  • jj redick 3
  • up 9
  • So far, stupid turnovers keeping boston in…a couple marcus smart 3’s too…but man our defense is a lot better…especially one on one defense, i swear marco even stopped tatum or somebody one on one…Boston’s missing shots too but it’s how they should’ve played 1st game but whatever. JJ Redick really came out tho…love that guy

2nd

  • got damn great defense to start
  • another stop on tatum by covington
  • jojo fadeaway up 16
  • Motherfuckers are finally playing defense …getting boston to shoot contested shots and getting the right players to shoot..i’m a proud dad right now, but i do not expect us to keep this going all game…there will be a drought. And tj mcconnell is playing well too, i missed it but he had another inbound steal.
  • covington steal and fouled on other end…beautiful
  • DARIO 3 AFTER ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DEFENSE…UP 21
  • I”m so happy right now dude….but i’m fearing boston will make a run….but jesus man this is brilliant defense being played…a lot of forced shots by Boston….wonderful
  • two straight Roco 3’s….tonight gotta be our night
  • boston run
  • cannot get rebounds…down 10
  • boston down 6….momentum lost
  • fucking pathetic end
  • lost all energy…let boston come back
  • i’m ok with a lot of stuff, but getting outhustled is my number 1 sports pet peeve…ridiculous

3rd

  • stop shooting 3’s jojo
  • jj redick is saving us …only guy doin work
  • ben simmons is useless
  • We finally lost the lead…and our offense beside jj looks dead…not looking good at all
  • down by 8
  • Boston’s offense is so simple but effective…they rely on breaking our defense with their perimeter players Tatum, Rozier, Brown…and the defense collapses, and boston is quick to find the open guy every time…simple but it works. They’re killing us one on one…covington, simmons, etc getting burnt and the open guy is found every time
  • Embiid and-1
  • still in this…
  • down 4, how? Just need to play defense again. Hopefully our shooters will save us in the 4th

4th

  • play thru embiid
  • tj mcconnell quick 4 pts to tie
  • tj big offensive board passes it to roco for 3
  • need to get embiid closer to the rim, he’s the brightest spot in our offense right now. Also, we are taking WAYYYY too long getting going on offense…running out of time on the shot clock
  • roco gotta make a layup man
  • embiid 3 for lead
  • huge roco bs 3 …back up 3
  • rozier big 3…only up 2 now…ben simmons coming back sigh….tj mcconnell was perfect, even defended tatum in the post
  • two big boston 3s sigh
  • rozier beating ben simmons …shoulda kept tj in…embiid with 5 fouls hurts too
  • al horford just beat embiid from the top of the key for the game..what the fuck….game over?

We Lost to Terry Rozier (Sixers vs. Celtics Game 1)

What the fuck is rust?

How is getting 6 days of rest a disadvantage??? Boston literally played 48 hours ago, they should be tired… mother fucker i’m still tired from going out yesterday ! I was happy that we beat the Heat in 5, but are you telling me that pushing that series to 7 would’ve benefited us this series??? Sorry, I’m still learning about the playoffs…anyway…

Jaylen Brown wasn’t going to play today and combine that with Boston being “tired,” this game was for us. We had to steal one game away and this game was perfect for us…

…AND WE LOST… REALLY REALLY REALLY BADLY.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

It was really a pathetic showing from our squad. It wasn’t turnovers this time (we still had those too), but it was energy and fire. Boston came to play, while we were missing shots and assignments defensively. There was an awful play where nobody stopped Terry Rozier in transition, and they got an open 3 out of it. Joel Embiid kinda slept on defense a couple times and Al Horford was right there ready to take the open shot. There were a few “Pissed Brett Brown after playing shitty defense” timeouts today.

We did hang around early, but it was clear that we were “rusty.” Basically, we were missing every other shot. It definitely did not help that Boston was knocking down every shot on the other end. As a result, we lost by double digits in game 1.

But it wasn’t just rust and it wasn’t just shooting. There are some glaring problems we are facing.

A) We can’t guard Jayson Tatum.

His size, handle, and shot is a problem for us. Besides Covington, we never really had good one on one defenders, and I’ve always said that teams can expose Dario, Marco, and Ersan on defense. We put JJ Redick on him dudeee…and he got destroyed.

B) We can’t guard Terry Rozier.

This guy is better than Kyrie Irving. He’s hitting open shots and the tough shots. He’s the real deal.

C) We can’t guard Al Horford.

This dude spun around both Marco and Ersan like it was nothing. Then he slithers outside and gets open shots.

To conclude, will we shoot this bad again? Probably not. Will Boston shoot this well again? Hopefully not. But does any of that matter if we can’t play defense??

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

We didn’t get smacked this hard by Miami; Boston pummeled us in the first game. I haven’t seen dudes get beat so badly in Boston since a drunk Jahlil Okafor was smacking chumps on the streets. How we respond to this absolute beat down will define this season’s team. Will we come back swinging? Or will we roll over? How is Ben gonna respond to Tatum and Rozier absolutely outplaying him? How will our vets respond to an off night shooting? Embiid played well but I know this loss is killing him inside. It’s really up to them.

That’s what’s interesting about this series is that everybody has a chip on their shoulder. From Tatum as an overlooked rookie, Rozier as a backup, Ben dealing with the “not a rookie” hate, Jojo and his trash talk, then of course Boston’s history with Philly, not just in the NBA, but the NFL; there’s a lot on the line this series. It’s kinda fun, but it’d be more fun if we can actually win.

…and lastly, I KNOW MARKELLE FULTZ ISNT PLAYING. I know we coulda had so and so, yadda yadda. And again, how Markelle responds to this is up to him. I know Markelle is a fighter. I know him being on the bench completely healthy and seeing the guy he was traded for doing well is killing him inside. He decides if he wants it or not. But that’s next season’s fight.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Some extra notes…

I’m really really happy with Joel Embiid on offense. He looked absolutely unguardable inside. He was using both power and finesse, and even hit the baby finggaaaaaa rollllllllllll on one shot.

Ben Simmons needs to be more aggressive this series. Oftentimes, the lane was wide open for him to drive in. Plus, Boston doesn’t really have defenders that can hang with him, especially if we can force bigs to switch on him. Also, today we saw something amazing from Ben. For the first time, we saw what Ben Simmons would look like if he played like Russell Westbrook. For the first time, I saw Ben not look at his teammates. We got a crazy reverse slam out of it, reminiscent of his reverse slam in LSU. Then we got a LeBron-esque drive with a shoulder for an and-1. Good to see.

timeout/free throw notes:

1st

  • there’s terry rozier and an embiid 3 to follow
  • i don’t like redick on tatum
  • Dario’s killin it already on the boards
  • missing a lot of shots
  • Tatum got jojo on a pump…stop jumping on pump fakes
  • ben simmons needs to be more aggressive…nobody on the floor that can guard him smh
  • terry rozier…..he really just did a transition pull up 3 on us…down 8 now, our guys look fucking pathetic
  • 4 min scoring drought ended by embiid jumper
  • This dude terry rozier is better than kyrie
  • Ben got a lil more aggressive driving to the rim and guess what? 2 easy buckets created…amazing
  • despite missing every shot…only down 3 at first…our firepower is our advantage, gotta make our shots

2nd

  • redick 5 pts
  • embiid gotta work inside more
  • ersan just locked down tatum
  • love jojo working inside
  • embiid might get too tired banging inside
  • marco cannot guard anybody
  • down 10 now…missing everything
  • boston making all their shots
  • finally ben simmons being more aggressive, nobody inside to protect the rim
  • redick on tatum …why
  • down by 11
  • We have nobody for Tatum, nobody for Rozier, nobody for Horford
  • Of course, we’re always a few BS 3’s from coming back, but this isn’t the heat, they can keep scoring

3rd

  • jojo bangin inside for a bucket
  • celtics hitting their 3’s…up 12
  • love embiid banging inside, nice moves too, not just power
  • EMBIID FINGA ROLLLLLL
  • horford spun past ersan, and marco early in the game
  • Ben simmons with a bron like shoulder for an and-1…boston yells “not a rookie” lmao
  • wtf shane larkin hit a off balance 3 …they cant miss
  • down 12 …saved by jj redick 3
  • no way boston shoots like this the rest of the series, and we cant shoot this bad again

4th

  • zzzz on D….rozier 3…boston hit a million 3s…back up 12
  • missed 3 after missed 3 after missed 3…and ersan missed two free throws wtf
  • embiid missing horford popping out…two wide open buckets for horford
  • another rozier 3….
  • down by 18 …rozier 2 on ben simmons
  • JERRYD BAYLESS IS PLAYING DUDE…THIS SUCKS

Goodbye Miami Heat

There’s nothing wrong with the Miami Heat.

They play basketball right. They can pass the ball, they can shoot, they have good basketball IQ, and they have players that can make amazing defensive plays. They’re a great team with great players that compete hard every night.

Goran Dragic, a super crafty PG that can find numerous ways to get a bucket. Justise Winslow, one tough defender and a high energy guy that can hit big time 3’s. Josh Richardson, another good defender with the ability to hit big 3’s. James Johnson, an enforcer and energy guy that can defend his teammates. Kelly Olynyk, another scorer and energy guy. Wayne Ellington, a shooter. Then, of course, the legendary Dwyane Wade. Not as deadly as his younger self (I think he got denied by the rim on a dunk this series), but still an OG that knows his way around the game. He can still hit fadeaway jumpers in his sleep and sneak up on you for a steal.

This Miami team is worth watching on TV and even paying a ticket for. They’re playoff contenders every year. Yet… they still don’t have it.

Mark Brown/Getty Images North America

It’s crazy watching this Heat team during this series because you can see the resemblance between their squad and our playoff squads several years ago.

They have a bunch of amazing role players, but no superstar to bring it home, well their superstar is a bit past his prime. I believe if Wade was younger, then this Heat squad could possibly be an ECF team, if they don’t face us of course. I think Hassan Whiteside was supposed to be the superstar, but nothing screamed “superstar” to me during this series, matter fact the opposite. You’re not a superstar if you’re benched in the 2nd half when the game is tight. It makes no sense either. I praised this new Whiteside vs. Embiid rivalry, and I was glad that the rest of the world would see it on a bigger stage. These guys fought each other in the regular season and both guys put up numbers. You would think Hassan would rise up to the challenge and take on Embiid …and uhh, Ersan. Instead, we got trash from Hassan, who had 0 impact on the series. On the other hand, our guy Embiid… well you know he did this thang. Hassan even being remotely close to his regular season self might have pushed this series to at least 6.

The Heat are in a really rough spot. They’re in the “Mediocre Squads That Make the Playoffs” group. They need superstar talent to take them to the next level, but acquiring it is the biggest obstacle. Maybe, talent can fall deep in the draft, it’s kinda possible. Maybe LeBron will come back and ride with Wade one last time. Or maybe… they could blow it up and tank?

BUT THAT’S NOT MY PROBLEM AND THAT’S NOT MY TEAM.

So goodbye Miami…and best of luck next season.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images North America

For our Sixers, we couldn’t ask for a better opening opponent than the Miami Heat. The Heat were good enough to keep us on our toes, but not good enough to actually eliminate us. This series could’ve easily went to game 7 if the Heat had more firepower to take advantage of moments where we went cold or made mistakes, hell they won Game 2 because Dwyane Wade finished us, and Wade could’ve took Game 4 but our guys Ben Simmons and JJ Redick landed the plane for a W. Then of course, Hassan things.

Most important thing of all, we got that good ol playoff experience. I used to think “playoff experience” was a joke, but the playoffs are truly a different animal. We got pushed by the Heat, literally. They introduced us to physicality. They put us under pressure and we responded. This is stuff you can only learn in the playoffs.

The next series will either be Boston or Milwaukee, either team will be tough, but hopefully we will take what we learned from this Miami series and become even better.

Go Sixers!