What to Watch: Celtics at Sixers, Game 3
As the Sixers find themselves in a 0-2 series hole, the series shifts back to Philly tonight. One thing to keep in mind, we always say the series doesn't start until a road team wins a game, and that hasn't happened yet in this series - or this playoff season for the Celtics.
The Celtics were 0-3 in Milwaukee against the Bucks, so they will need to figure out a way to win on the road, and the Sixers need to show they can win on their home floor tonight and Monday and find a way to steal a game in Boston.
Here are some of the keys to watch for:
Ben Simmons had 1 point and 0 made FG in Game 2, both career-lows, as the 76ers were outscored by 23 points with him on the court. Philadelphia has been outscored by 44 points with Simmons on the court in the first two games of the series, the worst +/- of any player on the team.
76ers with Ben Simmons On/Off Court – This Series
Minutes 73 23
Off effic 97.0 133.1
FG pct 40% 50%
+/- -44 +23
Simmons was extremely passive in Game 2, recording just six drives. According to Second Spectrum, that was tied for his second-fewest in a game this season. On those six drives he was hardly effective, recording 0.20 points per chance on drives, his lowest efficiency in a game this season (regular season and playoffs).
The Celtics have put unfamiliar pressure on Joel Embiid (Second Spectrum):
- Embiid defended 11 drives in Game 2, and was blown by on 8 of them, both career highs. The Celtics averaged 1.55 points per possession on those plays.
- The Celtics drew Embiid out of the paint by picking-and-popping. When Embiid defended the screener, they popped 24 times and rolled only twice.
- Expect the pressure to build against Al Horford, who pops on screen action twice as much as any player this postseason (102 times, next-closest is 56).
- From ESPN Stats and Info.
Listen: Celtics at 76ers, 5pm on 97.3 ESPN (Celtics leads series 2-0)