Philadelphia 76ers: 3 takeaways from important win over Boston Celtics


Marcus Smart

The big man who averages almost 10 free throw attempts per game this season and 8.5 per game for his career has managed just 6.0 free throws per game against Boston in those 12 games.

"Obviously, I was frustrated, because it was a cheap shot".

Marcus Smart could not have known the beast he would unleash when he took exception to a hard pick and sent Joel Embiid sprawling face first to the court with a two-handed shove to the back early in the third quarter. It caught me off guard.

That's a shame because this is one of the few rivalries in the National Basketball Association where guys really talk some trash (more on this in #10).

"We needed him out there", said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who added that he was disappointed in Smart.

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Embiid, meanwhile, was hit with a technical foul for his role in the play.

However, as Boston is more of a jump shooting team than the 76ers, it stands to reason that Philadelphia would get to the line more.

The Sixers rallied late to win the game, 118-115.

In 59 games this season, the 25-year old center is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds and assists this season, with 27.5, 13.8 and 3.5, respectively.

"I've been hearing that these guys can guard me better than anyone else, so I had to come out and show that I'm the most unstoppable player in the league", Embiid told ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth after the game.

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