Three takeaways from the Celtics' 107-93 season-opening loss to the 76ers

Three takeaways from the Celtics' 107-93 season-opening loss to the 76ers

PHILADELPHIA -- When discussing Wednesday night's season-opener, Celtics coach Brad Stevens framed it as part of the information-gathering process that will be a season-long endeavor for the Celtics. 

Well, Game 1 is in the books, ending with a 107-93 loss to Philly. 

There were a number of lessons, some good and some not-so-good, to take away from the opener.

Here are three takeaways that stood out that should provide the Celtics with a little more intel about who they are - and who they are not - as they return home to face defending NBA champion Toronto on Friday night at the TD Garden. 

Defend without fouling: As the Celtics will attest to, it’s a lot easier said than done. The Sixers spent the majority of the first half in the bonus, resulting in a decisive 23-13 edge in free-throw attempts. But more than the free-throw discrepancy, all those free-throw attempts resulted in a number of Celtics playing most of the game in foul trouble, which had a clear impact on their level of aggressiveness. Doing a better job in better limiting the number of fouls committed will go far on Friday in the home opener against Toronto.

Gordon Hayward: Lots of questions about whether he’s back or close to being All-Star Gordon Hayward. Wednesday was certainly a positive step with Hayward attacking the rim and finishing with contact, as well as knocking down a few jumpers. Hayward had his struggles defensively, but overall he had a solid season debut with a game-high 25 points on 8-for-15 shooting to go with five rebounds. But like most of the Celtics, consistency is the key to Hayward’s comeback. The Celtics will need to see more of the same going forward.

Bench play: The Celtics’ second unit had to be the more impactful group for Boston to get the road win. Aside from a couple of Marcus Smart-like plays like creating turnovers drawing charges, that impact was non-existent. They don’t have to score - it would help, but not an absolute necessity - but they have to do better than scoring a total of 15 points, especially on a night when most of the starters were in early foul trouble. Second unit success will be worth keeping an eye on Friday night.

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NBA Highlights: Ben Simmons and Philadelphia 76ers spoil Boston Celtics' season opener, 107-93

NBA Highlights: Ben Simmons and Philadelphia 76ers spoil Boston Celtics' season opener, 107-93

FINAL SCORE: 76ers 107, Celtics 93

IN BRIEF: Ben Simmons scored 24 points and the Philadelphia 76ers used a 22-6 run over the second and third quarters to beat the Boston Celtics in the season opener in Philly. Kemba Walker had 12 points on 4-for-18 shooting in his C's debut and Al Horford 16 in his first game with the Sixers. Gordon Hayward led Boston with 25 points. BOX SCORE

HIGHLIGHTS

OUCH. AL HORFORD RINGS THE OPENING BELL IN PHILLY:

JAYLEN BROWN DOING IT ON BOTH ENDS:

KEMBA WALKER'S 1ST CELTIC HOOP:

MARCUS SMART TO ROBERT WILLIAMS, GIVE-AND-GO-AND-JAM:

KEMBA BEING KEMBA:

BEN SIMMONS REJECTED BY ROBERT WILLIAMS:

JOEL EMBIID WITH THE BLOCK, TOBIAS HARRIS WITH FINISH:

EMBIID ADDS TO SIXERS' RUN IN 3RD:


UP NEXT:
Home opener: Vs. Toronto Raptors, Friday, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Boston
@ New York Knicks, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Boston
Vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Boston

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

What's Jaylen Brown's value? Re-do of 2016 NBA Draft offers measuring stick

What's Jaylen Brown's value? Re-do of 2016 NBA Draft offers measuring stick

The best players from the 2016 NBA Draft class are beginning to get paid. Is Jaylen Brown next?

That's the (100) million-dollar question in Boston ahead of Monday afternoon's deadline for teams to offer contract extensions to players ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Buddy Hield reportedly agreed to a four-year contract with the Sacramento Kings on Monday that includes $86 million guaranteed and could reach $106 million with incentives.

Hield joins Ben Simmons, Pascal Siakam and Jamal Murray as the fourth player from the 2016 draft to sign an extension off his four-year rookie deal.

Will Brown become the fifth? The 22-year-old reportedly balked at the Celtics' four-year, $80 million offer and is seeking more money.

To estimate what Brown is actually worth, we decided to re-do the top 10 picks of the NBA Draft based solely on talent -- put another way: Who are the 10 best players from the 2016 NBA Draft? -- and make note of the paydays already earned by the top players.

Let's start at the top.

1. Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers' original pick: Ben Simmons)

New contract: Five years, $170 million ($34 million per year)

No surprise here. The Sixers' 6-foot-10 unicorn of a point guard was the crown jewel of this draft class even before he figured out how to shoot.

2. Pascal Siakam (Los Angeles Lakers' original pick: Brandon Ingram)

New contract: Four years, $130 million ($32.5 million per year)

Siakam slipped to 27th in the 2016 draft -- and spent all of last season proving 25 teams wrong. The Cameroon native averaged 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game despite sharing touches with Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry and boasts the second-highest Win Share in the 2016 draft class despite barely making an impact in his first two seasons. He should be an All-Star for years to come.

3. Jamal Murray (Boston Celtics' original pick: Jaylen Brown)

New contract: Five years, $170 million ($34 million per year)

Murray averaged career highs in points (18.2), assists (4.8) and rebounds (4.2) in a breakout 2018-19 campaign for Denver. If he can improve his 3-point shot (36.7 percent last season), he's a legitimate franchise point guard for an NBA title contender.

4. Buddy Hield (Phoenix Suns' original pick: Dragan Bender)

New contract: Four years, $94 million ($23.5 million per year)

Hield's advanced age (26) is a strike against him, but he proved himself as a bona fide scorer last season, averaging 20.7 points per game while shooting 42.7 percent from 3-point range. Brown may have a slightly higher ceiling, but Hield has a higher floor.

5. Jaylen Brown (Minnesota Timberwolves' original pick: Kris Dunn)

New contract: TBD

Brown has more playoff experience than any player ahead of him on this last and at best could be a two-way star in the mold of Kawhi Leonard. But the 22-year-old has some work to do after a disappointing 2018-19 campaign that saw a regression in nearly every statisical category. That regression may have cost Brown a Hield-like extension, although he can get back into that range with a strong 2019-20 campaign.

6. Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans' original pick: Buddy Hield)

New contract: TBD

Ingram is very similar to Brown: A tantalizing talent with a few red flags. If his scare with blood clots doesn't affect him and he improves his outside shooting, Ingram could be a perennial All-Star in New Orleans. But he's yet to play more than 59 games in a season and needs to put up consistent numbers to be mentioned in the top five of this draft class.

7. Malcolm Brogdon (Denver Nuggets' original pick: Jamal Murray)

New contract: Four years, $85 million ($21.3 million per year)

The 2016 Rookie of the Year played a key role in the Milwaukee Bucks' resurgence as their rock solid point guard before being traded to the Indiana Pacers this offseason. He's missed 52 games due to injury over the past two seasons, though, and at 26 doesn't have much more room for improvement.

8. Domantas Sabonis (Phoenix Suns' original pick: Marquese Chriss)

New contract: Four years, $74.9 million ($18.7 million per year)

Sabonis has developed into a productive starter for the Pacers after a disappointing rookie campaign with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 6-foot-11 big man won't be a superstar, but his rebounding and ability to stretch the floor make him a key asset.

9. Dejounte Murray (Toronto Raptors' original pick: Jakob Poltl)

New contract: Four years, $64 million ($16 million per year)

Leave it to the San Antonio Spurs to steal Murray with the 29th overall pick. The promising point guard missed the entire 2018-19 season due to a torn ACL but earned second-team All-Defensive honors as a rookie and shows promise as a well-rounded starter in San Antonio.

10. Caris LeVert (Milwaukee Bucks original pick: Thon Maker)

New contract: Three years, $52.5 million ($167 million per year)

This was a close call between LeVert and Kris Dunn, but we're giving the edge to the Brooklyn Nets guard, who's a more well-rounded player and made an impressive return from a gruesome foot injury last season.

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