76ers vs Celtics: Philadelphia Rides Defense to Opening Win over Boston

Seriously: Put the Sixers-Celtics opener out of your memory. If you watched the game, go watch something else. If you DVR’d it, delete it. Then throw your DVR out the window. Then run over it. Twice.

There was plenty of energy in Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. More than 20,000 packed the building to see a Sixers team that enters this season as honest-to-god contenders. The deconstruction of the Warriors has created a void; Philadelphia has the talent to fill it.

The Sixers have size. They are big. Joel Embiid had the best preseason he had in five seasons with the Sixers. He’s in shape (sort of) and has a new frontcourt mate in Al Horford, who Philadelphia gleefully poached from Boston last summer. Tobias Harris is 6’9.” Josh Richardson is 6’6.” The point guard, Ben Simmons, 6’10.”

They are physical. The opener was a foul-filled mess (a whopping 63 whistles) but it illustrated how Philadelphia wants to play. Embiid and Horford controlling the paint. Richardson, acquired from Miami in the offseason, jostling Gordon Hayward and helping to hold Kemba Walker to a nasty 4-18 shooting night.

Read more…