Philadelphia 76ers not giving up hope of series comeback vs. Boston Celtics

Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers not giving up hope of series comeback vs. Boston Celtics

Declarations that the 76ers' rebuild is complete and title contention will be a regularity going forward were as premature as the confetti shot off at Wells Fargo Center at the end of regulation in the Boston Celtics' 101-98 overtime win in Game 3 of the second round series.

While in the Western Conference we're seeing two series that might go a bit further than initially expected, things are quite different in the East: Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics are making their way towards surprising sweeps.

"I have a lot of growing to do", Simmons said. "But we're not focused on that".

They'll get Irving and Hayward back next year, plus a core of youngsters that includes Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, with the firepower to add more. And he extends it to that stat that says teams with a 3-0 lead in National Basketball Association playoffs were 129-0 in the outcome of those series.

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"We stayed with it", Horford said. "It doesn't matter we've never been in this position". "I'm not one that was ever taught to play with our food, so when it comes down to it, we gotta finish it". We've gotten like, a couple of incredible mistakes. After all, playoffs are often about matchups and Philadelphia just looked like world-beaters en route to a gentleman's sweep over Miami a round earlier. No one player is bigger than the other, and they all follow the lead of their level-headed general in head coach Brad Stevens.

Yet here, they are, on the brink of the Conference Finals (again) using a team of role players, rookies and forgotten bench men. Players trust his overall game plan and have faith in everything he draws up on the white board, as we've seen throughout the series.

Joel Embiid was convincing in his assertion that wearing the variety of Krypton (or whatever they're made of) facial guards hasn't made a huge difference in his game this series. This Celtics team is a well oiled machine, coached very well, and able to handle all sorts of adversity. They were unable to do so last round against the Bucks when they went to Milwaukee for Game 6, setting up a winner-takes-all Game 7 in Boston. But through three games, it is the Celtics who are up 3-0 in the series and on the verge of a return to the Eastern Conference Finals. They make you earn everything at both ends of the court. You play [tonight's] game. "I think we all understood what was at stake". It's what we saw in the last series. We were all kind of hoping to make the playoffs, then we got real greedy and wanted to win 50 games. Hard enough to win one game.

By keeping Simmons in front of them and then challenging him to score over their long defenders when he drives, the Celtics have shut off a lot of drive-and-kick opportunities. Robert Covington sputtered, going zero for eight from the field, finishing with one point. The second-seeded Boston Celtics are on the road as they play Game 4 of their best of seven series against the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers Monday night.

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A mix-up with Joel Embiid even deeper into overtime capped another frustrating display for Simmons, the confusion allowing the Celtics to intercept and seal the win through Al Horford.

This undermanned squad will eventually hit their ceiling.

"They showed up in the time when it was the time to show up, and we didn't", Embiid continued. They've squared up with every trial over the last sevens months and won just about all of them. He is not LeBron James (Who is?).

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