The Boston Celtics’ season started with a 107-93 loss at the hands of the rival Philadelphia 76ers. While Boston is not a place for moral victories, even in defeat there are plenty takeaways from this showing. Since last night was a loss, let’s start with the bad:
Kemba was a no-show
Kemba Walker didn’t look like a player worth a max contract in his first game in green. He appeared to be pressing and his outside shot (1-6 from deep) failed him. This won’t be a long-term problem for Walker, an elite scorer of his caliber will shake off this poor shooting and will have better outings in the future.
Another one for the “this won’t happen often” list, Jaylen Brown could not stay on the court , racking up four fouls before halftime. While some of the fouls called on him were questionable, Brown made it easy by being overly-aggressive on defense. It seemed to be going around the entire team as Boston couldn’t stop sending Philly to the line. The Sixers finished the game with 36 free throw attempts. Boston will have to defend without fouling if they want to have a chance to win against elite teams.
Boston comes up short at the line
The Celtics could not make their free throws. The team shot 58% from the line which played a large role in their lopsided defeat. Considering the roster, this also appears to be an outlier game, I expect this team to make a lot more freebies in their next game.
Aggressive Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward appears to finally be fully healthy and confident after his leg injury. He was the lone bright spot in an otherwise disappointing opening night. He contributed 25 points and was in attack mode all night, drawing fouls and finishing with 11 free throw attempts (making nine). If Boston is going to thrive this season, this is the kind of Hayward the team needs.