76ers

Celtics 112, Sixers 109: New look, same result vs. Boston

Celtics 112, Sixers 109: New look, same result vs. Boston

BOX SCORE 

That big, Boston-sized monkey is still on the Sixers’ backs.

The Sixers fell to the Celtics on Tuesday night, 112-109, in an intense matchup at Wells Fargo Center, extending their losing streak against Boston to five games.

Tobias Harris (10 points on 4 for 14 shooting) missed a three-point attempt to tie the game with 6.6 seconds left. Joel Embiid got the offensive rebound and decided to lay it in with 2.4 seconds to go.

After two free throws from Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler wasn’t able to get off a desperation heave as time expired.  

• Butler, who had 22 points, has played at a high level since the Harris trade. He’s defended opposing point guards well and struck the right balance between assertiveness and unselfishness. Butler scored the first basket to start the third quarter for the Sixers, knocking down a jumper from the right wing to start a 9-0 run to begin the second half. 

Butler did miss two big free throws down the stretch after being fouled on a three-pointer with the Sixers down 106-103. 

• The Sixers’ offense was out of sync in the first quarter as the team started 6 for 17 from the floor. The rapid ball movement and crisp passing of the new-look Sixers’ first two wins was lacking, with a lot of long, stagnant possessions, and the Celtics jumped out to a 28-18 lead.

You expect to see those kind of sluggish, disjointed stints on occasion, but give the Sixers credit for shrugging it off and finding more of a groove in the second half. 

• Ben Simmons’ struggles against the Celtics have been well-documented. He wasn’t a non-factor Tuesday night, though Boston again did a good job neutralizing him in transition and sagging off him in the half court. 

Simmons made a couple of big plays down the stretch, including a strong offensive rebound and layup to cut the Celtics’ lead to 102-100. 

He finished with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.

• Just about every night, Embiid has a massive advantage over whoever is guarding him. The Celtics and Al Horford are an exception. Horford defends Embiid incredibly well, ceding little ground in the post while still avoiding fouls.

Embiid knocked down two three-point jumpers early in the fourth quarter and raised his arms as if to say, “Finally.” 

Embiid managed 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Horford had 23 points.

• After making his Sixers debut in garbage time of Sunday’s win over the Lakers, Jonathon Simmons got his first chance at regular rotation minutes. Simmons posted seven points in 14 minutes. He was tasked with sticking Terry Rozier and played solid on-ball defense. His perimeter defense could certainly come in handy in a playoff series against Boston. 

Simmons, James Ennis and Furkan Korkmaz are in a “quiet tournament” for minutes, head coach Brett Brown said pregame. Ennis watched from the bench Tuesday night. 

It’s this writer’s opinion that Korkmaz should be the odd man out because of his weakness as a defender and inconsistency as a shooter. You sense that Brown is still in the early stages of experimenting with his rotation and trying to determine the best combinations for the playoffs. 

• Brown stuck with Boban Marjanovic as his backup center despite the defensive matchup against Daniel Theis and Horford being less than ideal for the lumbering Marjanovic. 

It was a mixed bag defensively with Marjanovic in the game. He wasn’t a liability — and it didn’t hurt that he also chipped in with four points and six rebounds — but the Celtics took advantage of the fact that he wasn’t going to roam far from the paint. 

• The Sixers announced Tuesday that Shake Milton had surgery to address a fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand suffered while playing for the Blue Coats on Feb. 5. He will be reevaluated in two to three weeks.

• The NBA says Magic Johnson did not break any rules when he spoke Sunday about possibly working with Simmons.

Simmons is aware of the buzz around the whole mini-drama and cracked a joke in his typical deadpan style in the locker room before the game.

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Sixers Talk Podcast: Tom Haberstroh joins the pod to talk NBA free agency, draft

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers Talk Podcast: Tom Haberstroh joins the pod to talk NBA free agency, draft

On this episode of Sixers Talk, Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick are joined by NBC Sports national NBA insider Tom Haberstroh to talk about NBA free agency and the draft.

Tom talks about the Anthony Davis trade, the dysfunctional Rockets and weighs in on the #RunItBack discussion.

Do you trust Elton Brand and the Sixers to get the draft right? Danny is worried about the Sixers' recent track record while Paul is ready to stand on a table for one prospect.

Come for Danny's Kobe Bryant story and stay for the draft chatter.

2019 NBA Draft: Order of pick selection for Thursday night

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USA Today Images

2019 NBA Draft: Order of pick selection for Thursday night

The 2019 NBA draft is upon and the Sixers currently hold five picks — one in the first round and four in the second. GM Elton Brand talked to the media Tuesday about the optionality that comes with having five picks and a few of the things the Sixers may be looking for in a prospect.

The top three picks in the draft seem pretty set, but with the Anthony Davis trade forcing the Lakers to send pick No. 4 to the Pelicans, things could get interesting. Who do David Griffin and company like? Will they move the pick for more picks or for a veteran player?

Here is the full draft order:

1. New Orleans 
2. Memphis
3. New York         
4. New Orleans (from Lakers)
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix           
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta 
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte         
13. Miami 
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Sixers)
15. Detroit 
16. Orlando           
17. Atlanta (from Brooklyn)          
18. Indiana            
19. San Antonio     
20. Boston (from Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Memphis (from Utah)
24. Sixers
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State 
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee

Second round

31. Brooklyn (from New York via Sixers)
32. Phoenix 
33. Sixers (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Sixers (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)

35. Atlanta
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
37. Dallas
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Sixers (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Atlanta (from Charlotte)
45. Detroit
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers 
49. San Antonio
50. Indiana
51. Boston
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
53. Utah
54. Sixers
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
59. Toronto
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)

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