Despite missing several key players, the Boston Celtics turned up their offence in Game 1 as they cruised to a 117-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers .
With Jaylen Brown ruled out pre-game, the 'next man up' mentality was in full effect with young studs Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum rising to the occasion as they combined for 57 points on the night.
Riding a wave of momentum from their Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night, Boston's intensity on both sides of the floor overwhelmed the young Sixers.
"I think they came ready to play, and we were very rusty," Ben Simmons said post-game
"We just got smacked multiple times, and we didn't react, I think that's what it was."
With six days off since their last game, the Sixers struggled to find their offensive rhythm, hitting just 5-of-26 shots from the three-point line.
Meanwhile, the Celtics buried 17 triples and had the ball flying around the court, generating plenty of open looks as they racked up 27 assists on 41 made field goals.
"We missed a lot of coverages. We didn't execute offensively what we wanted to, every time down the floor. That's on us," Simmons added.
"It was just frustrating because we knew what we needed to do and we weren't doing it. We were talking about it, but we weren't doing it."
Joel Embiid, who finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds echoed those sentiments post-game.
"It starts on defence. I thought I was s---ty," Embiid said.
"I thought we were all bad tonight. That's not who we are, definitely. When everybody is on, we're the best defensive team in the game."
Sixers' Joel Embiid after Game 1 loss to Celtics: "It starts on defense. I thought i was s---ty. I thought we were all bad tonight. That's not who we are, definitely. When everybody is on, we're the best defensive team in the game." pic.twitter.com/5lVOtz9eum- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 1, 2018
Game 2 goes Thursday night in Boston.