Rozier helps Celtics beat 76ers in Eastern Conference semi Game 1

3 thoughts from Boston's Game 1 victory over Ben Simmons' 76ers

The Celtics are hoping to have guard Jaylen Brown back from a hamstring injury he sustained in the clincher against the Bucks, leaving him sidelined along with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. These guys use their talent to come together in a special way, and their execution has to be a strength against a 76ers team that may take some time to figure out how to get the most out of their talent, the way the Celtics did in game one.

Simmons actually looked like a rookie in Game 1. Then Monday's game happened. Terry Rozier was on fire as he drained seven 3-pointers en route to 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Jayson Tatum added 28 points while Al Horford added 26 points with four assists.

Remember those 3-point numbers? His shooting can be highly unreliable, but on this night, Rozier showed zero hesitation with his offense. Smart missed his first five shots. "But certainly since he's been in this starting role, he's been excellent, and we're going to need him to continue to be". I just didn't know what it was going to be... Remember when National Basketball Association fans mocked Horford's All-Star selection, assuming he must have been selected last when the captains drafted their teams?

Boston and Philadelphia will square off in Game Two Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST.

While the Celtics shot 17-of-35 (48.6 per cent) from long range in the opener, the 76ers managed to hit just 5-of-26 (19.2 per cent).

"It starts on defense", Embiid told reporters. When push came to shove, he didn't hesitate to put the ball in the hoop himself.

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During the postseason, the Celtics have been outscored by * a href="*GE*37&DateTo=04%2F30%2F2018" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *8.8 points per 100 possessions when Rozier is on the court with Larkin. In the three road losses, he averaged 11.7 points and made just 7-of-27 from deep.

Ben Simmons (No. 25) of the Philadelphia 76ers defends Shane Larkin of the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game One in Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. After the game, Sixers big man Joel Embiid didn't mince words when speaking about his, and his teammates', performance.

But when Larkin appeared with Rozier, the guard averaged 10.7 points, 4.0 assists and 1.6 turnovers per 36. The Celtics have a lot of young players that want to prove they are making the leap as a high quality National Basketball Association starter, and they become incredibly unsafe when multiple options come together like they did in game one.

The Sixers allowed J.J.

It didn't get any better for the 76ers in the third quarter. Injuries are never fun for coaches, but Brad Stevens has to be pleased with the way some of his younger players have stepped up this season when called upon.

Philadelphia's greatest defensive strength is having Embiid as a huge deterrent at the rim.

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