3 halftime thoughts (Celtics – Sixers)

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Friday night lights in Philly

Trying out a new schtick where I post 3 thoughts at halftime. No, I can’t promise I’ll do this every game, but when time permits I’ll give it a shot. By the way, I’m open to branding suggestions if anyone can think of a better name for this.

  1. Is the grifting is getting out of control?

Call it flopping, flailing, grifting, or “just good basketball” as Doris likes to call it. You know what I’m talking about. Leaning into a player without (really) making a true move to the hoop. Acting like you’ve been shot when a player’s arm is 3 inches away from your face. Stopping mid dribble so that the player behind you runs you over.

I’m all for getting every edge that you can. And selfishly I’m fine when Smart or Kemba do it and not fine when Embiid does it. But at some point there’s almost more gamesmanship than game. At some point you start hunting fouls and you forget to make a play for the basket (or defend properly).

This has been your old man rant. I’ll go yell at some clouds now.

2. Kemba Walker looks like his old self

Turns out that playing without pain is really a good thing for Kemba. He’s so quick and his quick twitch movements are amazing, in particular when he’s splitting defenders or changing directions. It reminds me a bit of the way Isaiah Thomas used to make a living getting into the lane and causing chaos.

Hard to overstate how important he could be to this team’s ceiling. And we haven’t even seen him on the court with Tatum yet this year. (Not ignoring Jaylen Brown’s performance tonight. I’ve just stopped becoming surprised by games like this from him)

3. Pray for Payton Pritchard

Initial diagnosis is that it is a knee sprain for Pritchard, which would be perhaps the best case scenario for him. However, let’s wait and see what the diagnosis is when the doctors get a good look at an MRI machine.

Obviously, losing the kid for any length of time would tax our already short rotation. Really hoping it isn’t anything more serious.

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