Bench spells difference for Celtics in win over Sixers

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Celtics' stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward struggled, yet Boston was able to cruise to victory largely on the strength of its bench.

Hayward said it was "amazing" to be back out there.

"My adrenaline was pumping those first three or four minutes".

"I thought we competed", the coach said. It was sloppy at first. It was great just to be out there.

"I just had a big smile when they announced my name again". While he finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, he still had 5 turnovers and seemed to lose focus at points in the game. "He gets paint catches, he gets close".

For the first time since the start of the 2013-14 campaign, teams will be looking at the Sixers differently at the start a season.

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2018 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ben Simmons (19 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists) felt Philadelphia could be pleased with their opening match despite defeat. He consistently takes the ball around 8-10 feet from the basket and tries to dribble in to position.

No rivalry, he says.

On paper, the Raptors, who also acquired Danny Green in the deal, have more talent than they had last season, when they had the conference's best record, 59-23. But it's pretty bad.

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This all being said, the fact remains that Embiid is still just 24 and Simmons 22, and possess a combined 175 career regular season games between the two of them. "So this is not a rivalry".

Gordon Hayward made an emotional return to the court for his first National Basketball Association game since suffering a season-ending broken leg and dislocated ankle six minutes into last year's opening game against Clevelend.

He received an extended ovation from the home crowd during a pregame introduction that included a video montage of his rehab process.

"You look at turnovers from a whole league perspective, Golden State won the title a year ago and they averaged 15.4 turnovers, [26th] in the league".

There was Gordon Hayward, understandably rusty but still a bit shaky as he made just four of 12 shots.

Landry Shamet was a non-factorShamet, who coming out of college, was considered the top shooter in the draft class, missed all of his field goal attempts. He didn't score until finally connecting on a pair of free throws early in the third quarter.

But no matter how good this series of moves look on paper, none of it actually matters until they are vindicated in an actual game.

After seeing how the Sixers have been game-planned for in their past six outings, all of which were against the Celtics, it won't be a surprise if other teams take advantage of the sag-off strategy that Brad Stevens has been so successful using.

"If we can guard like that, we've got a chance to be decent", he said.