76ers blow out Celtics in preseason play, 107-75


76ers blow out Celtics in preseason play, 107-75

PHILADELPHIA Sloppy play in the regular season or the preseason, is usually going to bring about the same result - a loss.

This is a lesson the Boston Celtics unfortunately find themselves repeating after a turnover-prone performance that ended with a 107-75 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Boston (1-3) went into the game with Kevin Garnett sitting out and Paul Pierce's minutes slated to be limited.

Even with more Garnett, that still may not have been enough to mask the many mistakes made by the Celtics.

Doc Rivers likes the C's to keep their turnovers to 14 or less per game.

At the half, Philly had 14 points off of 14 Celtics turnovers which as it turned out, just happened to be equal to the halftime deficit (56-42) that the C's were facing. Boston had a similar turnover-filled first half in their first preseason game, a loss to Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey last week.

In addition to the turnovers, Boston also had its share of problems defending Spencer Hawes.

Hawes came off the bench to score 13 of his 17 points in the first half, taking advantage of Philadelphia's dribble penetration that left him either open or wide open enough to where Darko Milicic, Jason Collins or Jared Sullinger could not rotate out quick enough to contest his shot.

Along with no Garnett, Boston was also planning to play Pierce in the first half only. He had seven points and four rebounds at the half, but he also committed four of the C's first-half turnovers. Pierce finished with a team-high 16 points.

In addition to Hawes off the bench, Philadelphia got solid all-around play from its starters who each had at least four points in the first half.

Boston cut into Philadelphia's double-digit lead in the third, but Philadelphia's ball-movement and Boston's inability to get defensive stops put the game away in the third which ended with the Celtics trailing 84-63 going into the fourth.

It didn't get any better for Boston in the fourth, with the Sixers continuing to capitalize on the Celtics' mistakes and shoddy defense which included an uncontested driving dunk down the middle of the lane by Nick Young that pushed the Sixers lead to 92-63.

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a CSNNE.com report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”