Ben Simmons struggles during OT loss to Boston Celtics in Game 3

Ben Simmons struggles during OT loss to Boston Celtics in Game 3

Early in Saturday's game three overtime loss in Philadelphia Simmons was playing well, but with the game and the 76ers' season on the line, he made late blunders that cost his team the victory.

While in the Western Conference we're seeing two series that might go a bit further than initially expected, things are quite different in the East: Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics are making their way towards surprising sweeps.

And there was Simmons' most grievous and inexcusable sin of the night: With the Sixers holding a 98-97 lead, with less than 20 seconds left in overtime, Simmons grabbed the rebound of an Embiid miss and immediately flicked the ball toward the rim from the right baseline. Redick rushed a pass that seemed intended for Joel Embiid, sending it before Embiid finished setting a back-screen for Simmons.

But the Celtics soon regained control substantially due to journeyman Aron Baynes outplaying All-Star Embiid. Unfortunately, however, it wasn't to be.

The Celtics were the third best defensive team in the National Basketball Association regular season based on opponents points per game (100.4), and that theme has continued into the postseason as the Celtics are still giving up only 101.5 points per game (good for third in the playoffs). He only attempted 11 three-point shots and made none of them.

"He &'s consistently ensuring people're at the correct situations", said Tatum, a first forward forward who is averaging 18.1 points a match at the game.

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On Philadelphia's ensuing possession, Horford stole the inbounds pass and knocked down two free throws to put Boston up 101-98.

"That man Brad Stevens is a guru", Morris said.

Embiid and Simmons are just 24 and 21, respectively, so it would be foolish to assume they won't get better. It will open up his lanes and will allow him to get to the paint and score or create for his teammates a lot more. They had their three best players out during the game and won by sixteen. In Game 3, that group was 9-of-29 on 3-pointers (31.0 percent).

The 76ers face an almighty challenge if they are to progress in the playoffs, but despite the odds being stacked firmly against them, coach Brett Brown is not giving up hope. Coach Brown tried Dario Saric and Ben Simmons, but Tatum was still able to elevate and capitalize on mid-range jumpers.

Boston has shown solid teamwork and extreme grit in this series, especially in the last two games. However, he was better in Game 3 with 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.

Stevens and his team of brutes have infiltrated Simmons' mind.