Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid Voice Optimism After Sixers’ Game 5 Loss To Celtics [VIDEO]
The Philadelphia 76ers may have been eliminated from the second round of the NBA playoffs on Wednesday night after losing to the Boston Celtics in the final seconds, but Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid remain hopeful about what’s next for their team.
“We have a bright future,” Embiid said. “We’re going to be fine.”
Embiid also cited Simmons as telling him ”There’s going to be a lot of rings on these,'” while pointing to his fingers.
In a press conference after the Sixers’ 114-112 Game 5 loss to the Celtics in Boston — which came after Jayson Tatum took a pass underneath the hoop and scored a layup with just 23 seconds remaining in the game — Embiid explained how much each player on his team has to contribute every night in order for the 76ers to become “unbeatable.”
“Looking at where we are, it paid off,” the 24-year-old Cameroonian-born Sixers center said after the game. “We definitely have more to show.”
Embiid finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds on Wednesday. He was called for a technical foul halfway through the third quarter for elbowing Al Horford.
“We feel like when everybody is on, we’re unbeatable,” he added. “We committed a lot of mistakes [in the series]. We’ve got to learn from it.”
Simmons struggled, finishing with 18 points, six assists and eight rebounds in Game 5.
The Celtics will next face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, just like last year. Game 1 of that series is set for Sunday at 3:30pm EST at TD Garden. The Cavs knocked the Celtics out in five games in 2017 to reach the NBA Finals against the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Cleveland beat Toronto 128-93 on Monday to sweep the Raptors in four games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Toronto finished as the top seed in the East this year, going 59-23 in the regular season.
The Raptors’ Dwane Casey was named the NBA Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches association on Wednesday. Casey helped lead Toronto not just to the top seed in the East this season, but also to become one of the top five teams in the league both defensively and offensively. The official NBA awards will be handed out in June.
Watch highlights from the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Sixers: