Their effort was “disappointing.’’ “Any time you don’t have maximum effort, it’s disappointing,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. And though it’s the preseason, there was little positive the Celtics could take from their 97-85 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at the Bob Carpenter Center Friday night. It was Boston’s third loss in as many games. “I feel like we took a few steps back,” guard Avery Bradley said. The matchup featured two similar teams: both baby-faced with rookie coaches, each a proud franchise in the infancy of rebuilding.
Jeff Green is under an intense microscope this season. With the departure of Paul Pierceand Kevin Garnett, and with Rajon Rondo rehabbing from ACL surgery, Green has ascended to being the focal point of Boston’s offense, and while he didn’t ask for the target that comes with that crown, he said before the season that it’s a challenge he accepts with a chance to cement himself as an emerging star in this league.
The Boston Celtics, winless in three preseason tries, encountered some familiar offensive turbulence on Friday night and endured an unsightly 97-85 loss to the Philadelphia 76erson the campus of the University of Delaware. Some will lament Jeff Green’s exhibition struggles — he misfired on nine of the 11 shots he took while scoring just four points over 20 minutes and was a team-worst minus-16 in plus/minus — or Boston’s inconsistent 3-point shooting — the team shot 23.8 percent beyond the arc on Friday — but the bottom line is nothing is coming easy for the Celtics, particularly in the half-court offense.