Three takeaways from the Celtics' opening-night win over the 76ers

Joel Embiid: Celtics vs Sixers Isn’t A Rivalry, “They Always Kick Our Ass”

Al Horford had nine points and five blocks.

Philadelphia was without two key contributors from its playoff run last season, as shooting guard Marco Belinelli and forward Ersan Ilyasova - two shooters who each could provide 25 minutes off the bench - both signed elsewhere.

Looking deep and unsafe, the Celtics claimed an early edge as the Eastern Conference favorites with this victory. The contending-for-a-championship part, however, never felt like it was truly in front of him.

Assuming the Celtics don't have any serious health issues this season, the biggest issue with the bench could simply be Stevens finding enough minutes for all the talent he has. "But this year is probably more real than any year I've been here". We played a lot of one-on-one, and I was kicking his ass.

The Sixers were plagued by turnovers last season, and that carried over into the new campaign as the team coughed it up 16 times on Tuesday night.

What are the limitations on Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward?

"I think any shot I'm taking is a great shot - unless it's double-contested or Embiid is meeting me at the rim", he said with a laugh.

"If we can guard like that, we've got a chance to be decent", he said.

Ahead of the matchup, we've broken down four things to watch as the team tries to get its first win of the 2018-19 season. Whether it was LeBron James, Horford's Hawks, or simply the prospect of facing the Golden State Warriors if the team ever did complete the Eastern Conference gauntlet, there was always the overwhelming likelihood the ride was going to end short of the ultimate destination.

Though Redick obviously played extremely well last season, finishing out the year second on the team in scoring, his defense, or lack thereof, was a clear deficiency on otherwise fairly formidable unit.

The Celtics also ousted Philadelphia in a five-game, second-round playoff series last spring and another returning superstar, Kyrie Irving - who missed the 2018 post-season with a knee injury - made a low-key return with seven points on 2-of-14 shooting.

"We had so much to improve on at both ends, " said Stevens. We're excited to play. The players today have more creativity than when I played.

Australian big man Aron Baynes earned praise for his dominant second half, with National Basketball Association legend Charles Barkley calling for Celtics coach Brad Stevens to give the Boomer some more game time to provide better balance to the team. In four preseason games, the Sixers averaged 20.5 turnovers per game, committing 22 and 23 in each of the contests against the Dallas Mavericks while overseas.

The Celtics and 76ers finished the 2017-18 regular season as the second and third seeds in the East with 55 and 52 wins, respectively.

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