The starting five was new, but the end result – a Boston Celtics win – is the same as it ever was, with the C's pulling away in the second half for a 110-102 win over Philadelphia.
The Celtics (2-0) continue to look at different combinations to see what works best and which combinations still need work.
Boston began Friday night’s game at Philadelphia with a starting five that included the Big Three of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, which was joined by Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum.
Irving led the way with 21 points to lead five double-figure scorers for the Celtics.
Meanwhile, the Sixers (0-2) were led by a pair of former Celtics in Jaryd Bayless (15 points) and Amir Johnson (12 points, five rebounds).
Philadelphia came within 105-99 with 2:35 to play, but Boston managed to hold on for the win.
As much as the Celtics wanted the win, more important was the continued growth of their young team with several players still working their way into defining their role for this upcoming season.
Among those young players was Tatum who made his first three shots before finishing with 7 points. Not only was he making shots, but he played with a presence at both ends of the floor.
The same can be said for Marcus Smart who had yet another strong game at both ends of the floor for the Celtics before finishing with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
As for Philly, they very much remain a work in progress, especially with their best player Joel Embiid, still sidelined. He went through 5-on-5 work on Thursday, the first time he has done that since undergoing season-ending surgery on his left knee in March.
He is making progress and there’s a chance that he will be in the Sixers lineup when these two meet again in Boston on Monday.
But the Sixers do have Ben Simmons back.
The former No. 1 overall pick had eight points and five assists, but he also turned the ball over five times.