Sixers Need to ‘Get Joel the Ball’ to Beat Celtics
For the Sixers to advance in the NBA playoffs over the Boston Celtics, the message is clear, they need to get Joel Embiid the ball.
Embiid's numbers looked good on Monday night, hitting 8-of-15 shots for 26 points, 16 rebounds, one assist, two steals and a block in 37 minutes, but it wasn't enough.
"I've got to do more," Embiid admitted. I've got to take more shots, I've got to be more aggressive.
As the Sixers get ready for a pivotal Game 2 tonight, its evident that Embiid needs to be the center of attention. The smaller Celtics had all sorts of issues handling Embiid in the post, but as the game went deeper, Embiid's touches diminished.
"There is no doubt that we want to get Joel the ball," Sixers head coach Brett Brown implored after the loss. "That's what we need from him.
With Gordon Hayward out for the remainder of the series with a right ankle sprain, the smaller Celtics have even less depth to throw at Embiid.
One issue has been getting Embiid the ball. The Sixers simply could not make a simple entry pass to get the ball into Embiid's hands.
"A large majority of our turnovers came from the wing to the post," Brown explained about the teams 18 turnovers in Game 1, leading to 21 Celtics points. Anything that slow, makes it easier for them to guard Joel Embiid."
With Hayward out, the Sixers have one less wing player to worry about, and if the Sixers can get Embiid the ball more than they did in Game 1, they should be able to find a way to make this a interesting series.
Game 2 is tonight at 6:30 on 97.3 ESPN.