Celtics, Warriors grab victories on NBA's opening night

Elena Summers
October 18, 2018

High expectations await the Celtics this year as they come off a season where they played without two of their top three guys, and still finished first in the conference and one game away from the finals. In the Celtics final preseason game, Hayward sat out due to lower back pain.

The Sixers were unable to match the Celtics' depth with Rozier, Morris, Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart all giving a lift on the second unit. It sounds insane to even think about a game that far away, but the end of December will be here before basketball fans know it. The Boston Celtics broke open a close game in the second half and coasted to an 18-point victory.

"This not a rivalry", he said. Gordon Hayward, playing in his first meaningful basketball game in 364 days after missing all but five minutes of past year due to a gruesome leg injury, was fighting through some obvious rust in what finished as a 10-point, 24-minute night. A rematch of last year's eastern conference semifinals will ensure that the 2018-19 season is kicked off in style. "Finally I got this game out of the way and I'm just so grateful I was out there with my teammates and coaching staff". "They were tremendous. It was everything I expected when I originally signed here". Just ask Joel Embiid. But before that game gets under way, the Warriors will receive their championship rings after winning their second straight title last season.

In light of Boston's 105-87 season-opening win, it's hard not to look back at the 2017 draft and think what could have been, if you're the Sixers.


They have a duo in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons that is ready to dominate right now, with more young pieces that should be able to round them out into a balanced and deep team that does not need to rely exclusively on star power. But if you make him see multiple defenders and force him to be unsettled, you can harass him into poor shooting nights like Boston did (Embiid shot 9-for-21 on Tuesday night).

Before coming over to Beantown past year, Hayward spent seven seasons in Utah and has career averages of 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.

The most exciting Celtics development last season: the emergence of the rookie Tatum. But even Irving never believed the game was in any doubt from the opening tip. It starts with making sure I've got my spotting boards and reading the local stories to make sure I have the current heartbeat of the teams.

By full-time he checked out just shy of a triple-double, dropping 19 points, 15 boards, eight assists and four steals. However, the Celtics gave the Sixers a reality check Tuesday night at TD Garden, reminding them of just how far ahead they truly are in the east.

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