In their first game of the season, Boston Celtics lost 107-93 to the Philadelphia 76ers in an ‘ugly game’. Despite this, pundits are still hopeful that the Celtics can turn things around
25th October / Boston, MA /
The latest basketball news doesn’t look good for the Celtics. Despite the loss of key players Al Horford and Kyrie Irving, pundits were still hopeful in season previews that the Boston Celtics might be able to go the distance this season and reach the finals, but their season opener this week against the Philadelphia 76ers seems to suggest otherwise.
In what has been characterized as an ‘ugly game’ with a constant stream of fouls and turnovers, 76ers claimed a 107-93 win over the Celtics
Despite the loss, it was certainly a gripping start to the season. The atmosphere at the game couldn’t have been better, and the evening had a distinct playoff feel. All told, there were over 100 missed shots, 24 missed free throws, and over 60 fouls across the game, one of which left Joel Embiid with a bloody mouth.
Embiid went on to reap his revenge on the Celtics by scoring 15 points and 13 rebounds, but his wasn’t the stand-out performance of the night. That title belongs to Ben Simmonds, who helped the 76ers to win the season opener by scoring a whopping 24 points.
Neither team played particularly well on the offensive early game, but from the fourth quarter, an offensive push from the Sixers meant they hit two straight 3s, which really pushed their lead up and secured the win.
However, it wasn’t all bad for Boston. There were some positive takeaways from the game for the Celtics.
For one, Gordon Hayward looks like he’s back to his old self. His impressive performance in the season opener has left fans hoping that it marks a return to form for the 29-year-old following his two years off the field due to serious injury. He was undoubtedly the best player on the night, dropping a team-high 25 points and shooting 53.3% from the field.
Kemba Walker, on the other hand, didn’t play as well as many hoped he would in his season debut.
Fans were excited about Walker heading into the season both because of his play on the floor and because of the different dynamic he’d bring to the team. His personality is very different from Kyrie Irving, who joined the Nets during the off-season, and fans hoped that this change in leadership-style might be good for the team.
Unfortunately, nerves seemed to get the better of Walker on Wednesday night as he had a disaster on the court. He managed to score just 12 points on 4-of-18 shooting, missed a lot of open shots, and struggled to deal with the Sixers’ on the perimeter.
Indeed, Walker was disappointed with his own performance in his Boston debut, stating after the game that he wished he “could have played a lot better for these guys”.
Coach Brad Stevens, on the other hand, was feeling a little more optimistic post-match, saying “there are a lot of good nights coming”. Indeed, fans are hoping that this optimism is well-placed as they look towards the next match of the season against Toronto.
If the Celtics can land a win at home against Toronto, it will give fans something to cheer about and renew that optimism we were seeing pre-season.
Elsewhere, nothing much has changed in terms of betting odds. The LA Clippers are still firm-favorites to win this season. The odds of Boston Celtics reaching the finals haven’t changed all that much following their first game, and pundits remain hopeful that 2019/2020 may be the season fans have been waiting for.