Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Sixers Joel Embiid optimistic about 'bright future' following tough loss to Celtics

021318-TJMcConnell-USAToday Daily Dose: Back to Beantown
Isaac Mcdaniel | 11 May, 2018, 00:49

Joel Embiid eventually gave the Boston Celtics credit for dominating his Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semis, but that was not until after he walked off the court without shaking hands following Game 5.

The Sixers big man agreed. Keep in mind this was a Sixers team coming off a 10-win season past year, and to see them advance as far as they did in the playoffs was truly wonderful, as Brett Brown knows the future is bright for his team. "And for the next decade, we're going to have a lot of fun battles". Game 5 takes place in Boston, in front of the raucous TD Garden crowd. But there was an underlying optimism about what might lie ahead for Philadelphia.

Nobody said the process would be easy!

"We haven't made shots and I think if we can click on a night when we are guarding like we have been guarding and then make some shots, that's when we have a chance to be at our best", Brown said. However, they'll be disappointed they're now out of the playoffs, especially after entering the postseason on a 16-game winning streak and dispatching the Miami Heat in five games in the first round. Boston outplayed Philadelphia in clutch time throughout the series, outscoring the Sixers 51-39 when games entered the final five minutes with a margin of five or fewer points.

"We feel like when everybody's on we're unbeatable", the always self-assured Embiid shared. We committed a lot of mistakes [in the series]. We've gotta learn from it. "To me, for those guys to play well is one thing".

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But the club didn't have a timeout remaining and couldn't generate a shot inbounding from under the Celtics' basket with 2.4 seconds left.

"We have a game plan that we are confident in", 76ers coach Brett Brown said after Wednesday's morning shootaround. Smart will most likely be matched up against LeBron James on defense.

The Sixers also could have up to six picks in the 2018 National Basketball Association draft. The ratings scale is 1-5 stars.

So the Sixers should have plenty of opportunities to improve in the next few offseasons. Ben Simmons added 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists while teammate Dario Saric had 27 points and 10 rebounds. "I felt like I had lot more to go".

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