James Harden was officially in the building last night, but that’s about as far as reasons to celebrate go. The Sixers were humiliated by the Celtics in a 135-87 loss. Understandably, Head Coach Doc Rivers was infuriated.
“We didn’t have much. I thought offensively was as poor as I’ve ever seen us, ever.” Doc explained after the game. “And then defensively, I think they made more threes than we made twos. So, they got everything. All game. They were better tonight in every way. Coaching, playing, and if there’s another category, they were better in that.”
You know things are bad when Aaron Nesmith sets a career-high 18 points, going 3-5 from three-point range in the process. The Sixers simply had no answer for the rapid ball movement from Boston, and Nesmith was made to look like a star as a result, behind the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who both had 28+ point nights respectively.
“If we’re being honest, I don’t like to say these games happen, but, I mean, you don’t get much out of these.” Georges Niang said following the loss. “Might as well flush it and move on and remember the feeling of what it felt like to sit on the bench and watch it or be in the game and be a part of it, and never let that happen again. Yeah, there’s nothing really else much you say.”
Amidst the chaos, Joel Embiid saw his remarkable run of 25+ scoring performances end. The MVP favorite ended with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in his 26 minutes of play, breaking what was a 23-game streak, ranking fourth-longest in NBA history.
If there was ever a game to highlight how badly the Sixers needed the services of their shiny new all-star in James Harden, this was it. The veteran looked on and was likely gutted he couldn’t get in and help his new team out of a hole that was only growing larger.
“Yeah, we know what we’re getting. We could’ve used that tonight.” Niang said when asked about Hardern. You know what I mean? You’re talking about a guy that is in the elite of the elite of the elite when it comes to scoring the basketball. Like I said before, a basketball savant. Breaking guys down. You need two guys to guard James Harden. Would Boston be able to send five guys at Joel [Embiid] if James Harden was on the floor. No, you’d get punished for that, so I think all of us know what we have waiting in the arsenal.”
The Sixers will next be in action on Thursday evening against the 36-23 Bucks.
Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire