Avery Bradley broke out with 22 points while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each logged less than 30 minutes, so any criticism of the Celtics’ victory over the Sixers on Tuesday needs to be tempered with those three facts. Any time Doc Rivers‘ guys can earn a “W” without forcing their aging All-Stars to carry a heavy load — particularly on the first leg of a road back-to-back — the Celtics win in more ways than one. Getting out of Philadelphia with a 109-101 victory therefore was a mission accomplished, but the Celtics were not without flaws in the game. Somehow, they managed to commit 22 turnovers, which might be the most impressive statistic of the entire night. It was the only thing that kept the Sixers in the game, long after the fans at the Wells Fargo Center had grimly accepted the fate of another defeat. “It’s amazing we turned it over and won,” Rivers said. “That’s what they do. They do a great job of forcing turnovers, but overall I loved our effort.” Not only was the Celtics’ 22 cough-ups a season-high, it was their most in a game since Feb. 19 of last season. The Celtics had committed 22 turnovers or more in a game just four previous times since 2010. All told, it was a dazzling display of carelessness with the basketball. This was damaging enough against the Sixers, who for all their youth and inexperience protect the ball very well. With all due respect to Rivers, forcing turnovers is not “what they do.” Despite committing the second-fewest turnovers in the NBA, the Sixers have a negative turnover differential because their opponents commit the 10th-fewest in the league. On the list of reasons the Sixers are mired near the bottom of the Atlantic Division, that is a good place to start.
Avery Bradley, Celtics Cannot Overlook Turnover Issues Regardless of Win Over Sixers
NESN | Mar 6