Celtics

Irving struggles, rest of Celtics lead charge in win over Sixers

Irving struggles, rest of Celtics lead charge in win over Sixers

BOSTON -- The first half of Boston’s season-opening 103-87 win over Philadelphia spoke volumes about the depth of this team.

They went into the half with a five-point lead with their best scorer, Kyrie Irving, scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting.

He would eventually get a couple shots to go down, but the fact that Boston was able to maintain control for most of the game while their best shot-maker chucked one miss after one, lends credence to the belief so many have this Celtics team is so deep that it can withstand an off night from any of its core players -- even their best scorer.

The second half of Tuesday night’s game was a clinic on the game within the game we’d like to call, find-the-mismatch.

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For most of the game, it was Jayson Tatum using his length over smaller defenders or cross-over dribble to the rim against bigger defenders who weren’t quite as mobile. And to start the fourth, it was Jaylen Brown’s turn to exploit the Sixers smaller perimeter defenders as he dropped a 3-ball and a short jumper to put Boston ahead 82-67, their biggest lead of the night at that point, with 10:57 to play.

It was that kind of night for the Celtics in winning on opening night for an NBA record 45th time.

Their success was indeed a team effort.

And with that, here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Tuesday night’s game.

STARS

Jayson Tatum: He got off to a red-hot start, scoring nine of Boston’s first 11 points. He would finish with a team-high 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the field to go with nine rebounds and three assists.

Joel Embiid: Boston did a good job of mixing up their defensive coverage on Embiid, but he’s too talented to shut down completely. He finished with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Ben Simmons: We’re still waiting for him to make shot outside of the paint, but to his credit he continues to find ways to be effective. He would finish with a near triple-double of 19 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.

STUDS

Marcus Morris: The leader of B.W.A. – Bench With Attitude – picked up where he left off in the preseason. He led Boston’s second unit with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.

J.J. Redick: One of the best shooters in the NBA, Redick came off the Sixers bench and scored 16 points to lead all Philadelphia reserves in scoring.

Aron Baynes: It was Aron Baynes starting the third quarter for Boston that helped the Celtics get off to a fast start to the quarter and never look back.  He would finish with eight points, four rebounds and three assists which included a pair of 3-pointers.

DUDS

Kyrie Irving: We wondered aloud about Gordon Hayward being rusty. But it was Irving whose shooting touch was nowhere to be found most of the game. He would finish with seven points on 2-for-14 shooting from the field along with seven assists and four rebounds.

Markelle Fultz: Like most of the Sixers, this was not a good night shooting the ball for Fultz. He played 24 minutes and finished with five points on 2-for-7 shooting.

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Celtics Talk Podcast: With Davis shipped to the Lakers, the Celtics might not be in as much trouble as you think

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Celtics Talk Podcast: With Davis shipped to the Lakers, the Celtics might not be in as much trouble as you think

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Chris Forsberg and A. Sherrod Blakely give their initial reactions to Anthony Davis being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for a handful of assets. Ultimately, it might have been too big of a risk.

4:16 - Brian Scalabrine joins the guys to give his take on how the Davis trade will affect the Boston Celtics this season. Will the young core of the Celtics be able to take down the new-look Lakers?

10:50 - With Kyrie likely gone and Davis' fate now decided, it looks like the Celtics won't acquire a top-tier talent. The question is, do they need a top-five player?

14:31 - Another huge piece of the Celtics roster is Al Horford, who may or may not want to stay in Boston now that Danny Ainge has apparently fully committed to the youth movement.

19:50 - Are you comfortable with Terry Rozier as your starting point guard?

25:22 - Jeff Goodman of Stadium joins Chris and Sherrod and he's confident that the biggest factor in their future success is Terry Rozier and that they already have a superstar on their roster in Jayson Tatum.

31:22 - Goodman takes a quick look at who the Celtics might select on draft night at No. 14 and what they'll do with they're remaining first round picks.

36:01 - Sherrod explains why Chris and Celtics fans should be optimistic in the aftermath of the Anthony Davis trade because of the shift of power in the NBA and the Celtics combination of talent and chemistry.

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Report: Celtics 'almost at the point of resignation' with Kyrie Irving

Report: Celtics 'almost at the point of resignation' with Kyrie Irving

Signs that the Celtics and Kyrie Irving will reach an agreement to re-sign vanish by the day. 

On Monday night on SportsCenter, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Celtics are "almost at the point of resignation" with Kyrie Irving.

“I think with the fact that they are really concerned, and almost to the point of resignation, that Kyrie (Irving) is going to leave them, it changes the dynamic," Wojnarowski said. "Terry Rozier is a restricted free agent; they can match any offer sheet and keep him. But Boston’s got a lot of options." 

Reported possible destinations for Irving include Brooklyn and Los Angeles. 

The dynamics that Wojnarowski mentioned once hinged on Irving's decision, but now may center on whether or not Al Horford accepts his $30.1 million player option. Boston also has a decision with three first round picks in the upcoming draft. 

"They’ve got assets," Wojnarowski said, "but I’m told they’ve been really aggressive in the marketplace. Again, three picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft, I’m told they don’t want three rookies on the team. You can expect one way or another one, maybe two of those picks end up somewhere else.” 

Boston has picks 14, 20 and 22, but also have nine players on the books if Horford opts-in or signs a contract extension. In NBC Sports Boston's latest mock draft, the Celtics select Kentucky guard Tyler Herro with their 14th pick. 

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