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07 May 2018, 12:24 | Ken Black
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers: In Jaylen Brown's absence, Celtics continue to step up
This sort of thing doesn't happen for a player the team expects to use.
Boston's lineup as they eradicated the Philadelphia lead made the run all the more surprising.
Throughout the regular season, Boston's calling card has been a team that could dig themselves out of just about any hole.
"They won two games at home and we have to reciprocate", Sixers coach Brett Brown said.
In the third quarter, Boston would grab their first lead of the game, 64-63, on a three by Aaron Baynes.
This piece has nothing to do with who will win the series or which team is better suited to dominate the Eastern Conference in the future, so please don't get anything twisted. Brown said. "You could have".
"I wanted to play last game too", Brown admitted. Everything, it's nearly like having an older brother. The two met a year ago when Brown attended one of his concerts.
The character building and personal side of this dynamic can not be undersold.
Jaylen Brown returned to the lineup after missing game one with a hamstring injury and poured in 13 points off the bench. The effects of such an arrangement are multifaceted - the noise was cut down during a chaotic time of his development, and bonds strengthened between coach and player. It should be interesting to see how things play out in this series and certainly going forward. Wasn't just out there, flowing, playing the way that I play, which is free.
"I heard he wanted to talk to me and I got on the phone with him this morning and spoke with him".
"Mentally, just thinking too much", Simmons said of his tough night. "It's setting a stage for sure for next year, and not to discount anything going on now, it's not that at all, don't write that".
"It means a lot coming from one of the best players to ever play If I was supposed to be the No. 3 pick, then so be it".
While his size, athleticism and passing have made up for his lack of shooting for almost the entire season, Simmons' most glaring weakness was on full display and impossible to ignore in Game 2.
The Celtics simply made the most important plays down the stretch to survive Philadelphia's attempt to steal home-court advantage. "As I got going I felt better", he said.
"I love it", he said.
When you observe just one relationship of Fultz's within the team, that much shines through.
Yet a timeout wasn't called, thus bringing on all the second-guessing. They are not really a running team necessarily, they played a little faster when they could and they got out in transition and converted. Nonetheless, the Boston Celtics have gotten plenty of good looks in both games. If the Celtics keep him running, it wears him out quicker, forcing the 76ers to adjust. His blow-by layup past Joel Embiid with 8.3 seconds to go in regulation all but sealed the deal.
For now, that is a concern for a later date.
Simmons has been terrific in his first postseason as he averaged 18.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists in the first-round series against the Miami Heat.
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