The Celtics are getting more than they bargained for against the Philadelphia 76ers who are once again, record-wise, among the worst teams in the NBA.
They didn’t look like it in the first half which ended with the Celtics trailing the Sixers 53-45.
Boston came into the game having won its last four road games. And they did so by playing solid defense, something that has been noticeably absent in the first half.
Philadelphia came into the game as one of the NBA’s better 3-point shooting teams and has lived up to the lofty ranking.
In the first half Philadelphia made nine of its 18 three-point attempts while the Celtics are way, way, way at the other end of the 3-point shooting spectrum while missing eight of their 11 3s with Isaiah Thomas making a pair with the lone other made 3-pointer coming from Marcus Smart.
The defense struggled, the offense never had any kind of flow and not surprisingly, the Celtics found themselves playing from behind most of the first half.
Here are the first half stars from Saturday’s game.
Sergio Rodriguez: His playmaking was solid as usual, but it was Rodriguez getting it going with his jumper that really produced surprisingly strong results for the Sixers. He had 11 points, four assists and a steal in the first half.
Isaiah Thomas: Playing his game which is shooting and attacking the rim, Thomas was Boston’s lone double-digit scorer in the first half with 15 points which is tops among all players.
Dario Saric: It was a solid first half as Saric contributed both on the boards and the scoreboard. He had 10 points in the first half along with five rebounds.
Gerald Henderson: Henderson had one of those high efficiency-type games with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting.
Celtics 3-point shooting: It was a miserable first half for a team that has been among the NBA’s leaders in 3-pointers made and taken this season. At the half, Boston has shot 2-for-10 on 3's.
Celtics defense: Boston has shown little to no signs of providing the kind of push-back they’ll need in order to leave Philly with a win. In addition to allowing Philadelphia to shoot 47.4 percent from the field, Boston also allowed the Sixers to knock down nine 3's.