Doc Rivers praises Sixers for defensive effort in road win over Celtics

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Ky Carlin
·3 min read
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The Philadelphia 76ers are a team that will hang its hat on the defensive end and then use that to fuel their offense in transition, but on Tuesday in a win over the Boston Celtics, they did a terrific job on that end of the floor.

They held Boston to 47.1% shooting and they forced the Celtics into 22 turnovers which they then turned into 21 points. Boston All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for six of those turnovers as it was a long night for the Celtics on that end.

Philadelphia’s perimeter defenders such as Ben Simmons, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry had their hands full with Tatum, Brown, and Kemba Walker and they all did a terrific job. Matisse Thybulle off the bench made an impact as well and with Joel Embiid and Dwight Howard protecting the rim, it makes life a little easier for a perimeter defender.

“It was huge,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Because of their three scorers we told Ben, Tobias, Danny, Matisse, and Seth did a great job as well, that they were going to be on an island a lot, but to channel them to the basket and that’s where Joel came in. His ability, him and Dwight’s ability to protect the rim, and make them, they have made some tough passes, that was good for us.”

The Sixers were actually able to come up with nine fast break points in this one and they scored 21 total points off the 22 turnovers they forced. They were able to get out and run and that is why they were able to have so much success in the win.

“We got a lot of deflections and steals that first half, which got us to the lead and the jump,” said Green. “When we set the tone like that when Ben, Tobias active Seth getting to the ball and Joel at the rim-protecting and those contested shots, we’re able to get out, running and fly. That’s our best offense.”

The state sheet will say that Embiid only had one block in the win, but he contested countless other shots and the Celtics were forced into taking a bunch of jump shots. They wanted no parts of Embiid at the rim in this one.

“I’m usually critical about myself but, tonight I thought I was great,” said Embiid. “My goal is to one of these days when Defensive Player of the Year and be on an All-NBA Defensive Teams. Tonight, I was definitely better than I was against Minnesota, but I still got a long way to go. I made a couple of mistakes that I can correct so I just gotta go watch the film and learn from it.”

The Sixers will now continue the road trip as they head to the bayou on Friday to take on the New Orleans Pelicans.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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