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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Not at this time: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers Recreation 6

1. In Recreation of Thrones there’s a scene the place Arya Stark’s sword-fighting teacher Syrio Forel sends her away as some troopers come to assault them. As he prepares to cowl her exit, Syrio asks Arya “What do we are saying to the God of Demise?” to which Arya replies “Not at this time.”

The Boston Celtics season was on the point of demise, however the Celtics mentioned “Not at this time” and compelled a Recreation 7.

This workforce by no means makes it simple. Possibly that’s their calling card. For no matter purpose, the tougher the trail, the higher they play.

It was a team-wide success, as Joe Mazzulla made some lineup and rotation calls, plus some on-court changes with schemes and coverages. Solely seven gamers noticed motion, however all of them contributed in optimistic methods.

Add all of it up, and the Boston Celtics, like Arya Stark, lived to battle one other day.

2. Marcus Sensible could not have had all of the endgame heroics, however he was Boston’s greatest participant in Recreation 6. By no means afraid of the second, Sensible stepped up and made a number of huge performs all through the sport to assist preserve the Celtics season alive.

You had a sense Sensible is perhaps in for an enormous evening when his fist shot went down:

A bit of later Sensible pinched in and took the ball away from Joel Embiid, finally drawing a transition take foul from Embiid:

Sensible’s feeling good now and he’s confidently letting it fly:

When he’s feeling good, Sensible tends to be in all places defensively. This steal, and arduous push, will get the Sixers cross-matched and opens up the drive for Jaylen Brown:

This play greater than another tells the story of how a lot Marcus Sensible wished a Recreation 7:

Firstly of the second half, Sensible settled into his playmaker mode. First was this attractive no-look lob to Rob Williams:

A few possessions later, Sensible’s endurance in transition paid off, as he arrange Al Horford for the simple one:

Then, close to the top, when the Celtics wanted an enormous hoop, Sensible delivered:

It was a kind of not-to-be-denied performances from the Celtics coronary heart and soul. Each time Boston wanted an enormous play, Marcus Sensible was concerned in making one occur.

3. For an honest stretch of the sport, Jaylen Brown carried the Celtics offense. He hit some jumpers, however Brown has hit the purpose the place he is aware of nobody on the Sixers can guard him off the dribble.

That assault mindset confirmed up on this sturdy end late within the second quarter:

To open the second half, Brown went proper at Joel Embiid once more:

When Philadelphia overreacted to Brown’s drives, he was content material to seek out shooters:

Brown was additionally not going to be denied. And he wasn’t afraid to assault Embiid head-on:

4. We talked about it earlier than, however certainly one of Joe Mazzulla’s huge adjustments was inserting Rob Williams again into the beginning group. Williams changed Derrick White and the change was impactful. Williams’ dimension and athleticism confirmed up in assist protection a number of occasions. Whether or not that got here in opposition to Joel Embiid, as Williams functioned because the designated double-teamer, or on assist when the Sixers drove, Williams altered loads of pictures within the paint. He additionally helped shore up the defensive rebounding, because the 76ers managed solely six offensive rebounds all recreation.

Mazzulla’s different change was to play simply seven gamers. Solely Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White noticed break day the bench. That meant no Celtic sat for very lengthy, they usually all roughly stayed in rhythm, with one notable exception that we’ll cowl subsequent.

Mazzulla’s scheme and coverages adjustments had been a bit extra delicate. Boston performed much less drop protection, particularly on the tight pick-and-roll performs across the elbow that Philadelphia went to lots in Recreation 5. With Williams behind him to scrub up, Al Horford did much more coming as much as the extent of the ball on display actions.

Lastly, Mazzulla used a bunch of timeouts in good spots. He used a pair to quell Sixers runs, however he additionally had an actual pulse on when his guys wanted a breather. Mazzulla even used one which appeared to be simply to get Jaylen Brown again into the sport. And he saved his problem and used it within the excellent spot to take away a foul and two free throws, when Horford got here up with an enormous cease late.

5. Jayson Tatum’s shot was nowhere to be discovered within the early a part of this recreation. For the higher a part of virtually 44 minutes, Tatum couldn’t make a shot. However that didn’t preserve him from impacting the sport in different methods.

In transition, this was a great catch and go by Tatum to arrange Rob Williams for the dunk:

Tatum’s protection was wonderful all through the sport. It’s uncommon that somebody will get James Harden’s step-back from in entrance, however Tatum was throughout it right here:

After contesting the shot and getting the rebound, Tatum acquired Boston out working once more earlier than discovering Sensible open within the nook:

When Harden discovered Tobias Harris with the hit-ahead, Tatum took it away:

All the different stuff was there from Tatum when the scoring wasn’t. And all of us knew the pictures would ultimately fall.

6. And fall these pictures ultimately did.

With Boston down two, their star had no hesitation, regardless of the poor-shooting evening up to now:

On the subsequent journey, Tatum acquired to that lengthy step-back:

Following an enormous cease, Tatum and Marcus Sensible labored the pick-and-pop to perfection:

Another time, for the dagger to ship the collection again to Boston:

7. Sandwiched in between all of these monster pictures from Jayson Tatum had been two big performs by Al Horford to get stops.

First, Horford got here up with this huge strip of James Harden, after a profitable problem by Joe Mazzulla:

That led to a late-clock launch that missed. On Philadelphia’s subsequent possession, Horford picked up Harden on the change once more. This time he stayed in entrance and contested the baseline runner to drive a miss:

General, Boston held Philadelphia with out a made discipline objective for nearly the ultimate six minutes of the sport. They had been locked in, led by their veteran chief.

8. Malcolm Brogdon had a reasonably depressing Recreation 5. In Recreation 6, he got here out firing and helped stabilize the Celtics early.

This can be a good learn by Jaylen Brown in transition and Brogdon delivered the pullup three:

A few performs later, Brogdon is working within the halfcourt. With Embiid laying again, and Marcus Sensible getting simply sufficient of the defender, Brogdon is up and into his pullup three once more:

9. Derrick White took the lineup change in stride. He simply did what he does, as he got here off the bench and did slightly little bit of every thing. It was good to see White take his pictures with out hesitation. This was a pleasant go by Jaylen Brown out of a double-team and White ripped the web:

And everyone knows White is nice for at the very least one block per recreation:

10. Everybody did one thing to assist the Celtics win Recreation 6 on the highway. And Jayson Tatum got here by way of when Boston wanted him to most. Now it’s a do-or-die Recreation 7 in TD Backyard and the Miami Warmth may very well be awaiting the Celtics within the Japanese Convention Finals.

If that sounds acquainted, it’s as a result of that is the precise spot the Celtics had been in a yr in the past. Tatum got here up huge in Recreation 6 to assist drive a Recreation 7. And the Celtics performed a Recreation 7 at residence with the Warmth ready for the victor on the opposite aspect.

We’ll discover out Sunday if historical past is certainly repeating itself. The Celtics know what they need to do. They’ve already requested the group to make TD Backyard a hostile, depressing, unwelcoming surroundings for the 76ers. Recreation 7. All of it comes all the way down to getting it executed in Boston.

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