Turnovers Hurt Sixers in Game One Loss to Celtics
The Sixers and Celtics played a rollercoaster of a game to kick off their first-round series. Despite a good push from the Sixers in the second half, they would fall to the Celtics by a final score of 109-101.
Turnovers have hurt the Sixers in the past, and arguably cost the Sixers game one of this series. They committed 18 total turnovers in the game while the Celtics committed just seven. Boston made the most of the extra possessions and made the Sixers pay for their mistakes, scoring 21 points off the Sixers' turnovers.
Who was going to defend Jayson Tatum was a big topic heading into this one. Matisse Thybulle and others did what they could but Tatum had his way against the Sixers' defense. He finished the game with 32 points, his new playoff-career high.
The other two heads of the Celtics' three-headed scoring monster did their damage as well. Jaylen Brown went off for 29 points and Kemba Walker finished with 19 points and five assists.
Another key area that hurt the Sixers was rebounding. They allowed the Celtics to grab 16 offensive boards on Monday night. Size in the Sixers key advantage in this series and if they want to win moving forward they need to control the glass. The Sixers only out-rebounded the Celtics by seven, that is unacceptable with the height advantage they have.
Joel Embiid was looked upon to carry the load for the Sixers and he put on a solid performance. Despite an array of double teams the All-Star center managed to score 26 points and grab 16 rebounds.
The supporting cast did the best they could aiding Joel Embiid. Five of the seven Sixers' players that saw significant minutes broke double-digits in scoring. Tobias Harris flirted with a triple-double finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle performed well in their playoff debuts. Thybulle was a pest on defense chasing around the Celtics' wing threats, and Milton knocked down a trio of three-point shots en route to scoring 13 points.
As bad as the Sixers looked at times in this one, the silver lining is they managed to make it a game in the end. If they can take care of the basketball and finish out defensive possessions things could sway in their favor. That being said, there are multiple issues to address ahead of game two on Wednesday.
Kevin McCormick is the 76ers insider for 97.3 ESPN and 76ers editor for Sportstalkphilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMcC973.