The Celtics turned the ball over nine times compared to 19 for the 76ers. The 76ers bench shot 3 of 13 from three including 1 of 8 for Mike Muscala. They combined for 13 of the 76ers 114 points.
Many continue to find other reasons for the 76ers struggles, which follows the same script after every loss. It’s a simple one: blame the coach and Ben Simmons for all the problems that exist for this team.
There is some validity to the fact that head coach Brett Brown is struggling to incorporate Jimmy Butler into the offense late in games. Simmons’ lack of perimeter game hurts spacing and jams up the paint.
But I came back to the same conclusion after every 76ers loss. Where are the two-way players on this team?
The trio of Joel Embiid, Simmons and Butler aren’t the perfect fit. But they are talented enough to be the best three players on a championship team.
They need more help around them. No team can make a deep playoff run without role players contributing to assist the stars.
Christmas Day takeaways
It’s a bad day in Philadelphia whenever a sports team loses to Boston so the high frustration level is warranted.
Don’t just look at the final score and declare the game a disaster. The 76ers can hang with the Celtics, they just need a more complete team.
Despite the turnovers and poor shooting, they only found themselves down, 57-51, at halftime. They even took a 108-106 lead with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter with a Wilson Chandler 3-pointer.
This was a much better showing than the 105-87 loss on Oct. 16. Butler has helped closed the gap between these teams.
But Embiid is right about what he thinks about these matchups between the Celtics and Sixers. “This is clear as day no rivalry,” Embiid said to reporters after the Celtics loss.
Their close but not close enough, that’s the biggest takeaway from those games so far.
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