The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a late win over the Boston Celtics in a game that featured a playoff atmosphere Wednesday night, and Terry Rozier feels his Eastern Conference rivals may have been a little too excited about the victory.
Trailing 108-105 with less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Sixers fought back and scrapped their way to a 118-115. You can understand why they were excited, but Rozier mocked them after the game for overdoing it a bit.
Terry Rozier: "I thought the confetti was going to drop. No, I did. It was a big win, not trying to take nothing away from them. But I thought the confetti was dropping tonight."
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 21, 2019
Had the game been in Boston and the Celtics won in similar fashion, they probably would have reacted the same way. The two teams could very well meet in the postseason again this year, and some intense play led to technical fouls and an ejection on Wednesday. Basketball should be hoping for several more rematches between the Celtics and Sixers.
Andrew Bogut left the NBA last year to sign with an Australian team, and he showed enough with his play overseas that multiple teams are interested in adding him for the stretch run.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers are among the contending teams that are interested in signing Bogut, who just finished an MVP season with the Sydney Kings.
Multiple contenders, including Golden State and Philadelphia, are expected to express interest in upcoming free agent Andrew Bogut. His season has ended in playoffs of Australia’s NBL, where Bogut was league MVP and DPOY, and he will take some time to decide on next team.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 3, 2019
Bogut, 34, last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged just 9.0 minutes per game. While the level of competition is much different in the NBA, teams obviously believe he can still provide front court depth.
The Philadelphia 76ers have high expectations after investing in Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris this season, which means an early playoff exit would be unacceptable.
Owner Josh Harris said Friday that it would be “very problematic” if the Sixers failed in the first round this season, especially with a potential matchup against the Boston Celtics, a team they have consistently struggled against, looming large.
“It would be problematic,” Harris said, via Jackie MacMullan of ESPN. “Very problematic. It would not be what we’re playing for.
“We’d be unhappy. I’d be unhappy. The city would be unhappy. We’re going to work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. We have enough talent on our roster that if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we can beat any team in the East.”
Coach Brett Brown got a new contract after last season, but one has to wonder if an early exit would bring his position under threat. It’s clear that the Sixers are aiming high, and they will not settle for a quick playoff run this time around.
- Philadelphia 76ers
The NBA trade deadline has passed, which means we more or less know what teams will look like in the NBA playoffs. There will be a few new faces who join playoff teams, but the bulk of these rosters are in place. With most of the season behind us, we also know who will likely be making the playoffs and seeded highly for a Finals run.
Keeping in mind the trade deadline activity, here are the top ten contenders to take home the title in June.
10. Utah Jazz
The Jazz were ultimately quiet at the trade deadline despite being linked to Memphis guard Mike Conley. In the end, they will go with what they had, which isn’t bad. Donovan Mitchell is a star, and Rudy Gobert is playing with a point to prove after being a quite egregious All-Star snub. They’re not really deep enough to challenge the best of the West, and they don’t really have enough in the way of top-level talent, but they’re good enough to cause a few headaches.
The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to tell their side of the story in the ongoing disagreement over Ben Simmons.
The Lakers said in a statement Monday that it was the Philadelphia 76ers who first reached out to the Lakers asking if it would be possible for Simmons to talk with Magic Johnson. The Lakers said they contacted the Sixers and informed them that their approval would be required, and “that was the end of the matter.”
Statement from the Lakers on the Magic Johnson/Ben Simmons intrigue: pic.twitter.com/pSiEQ0u6hD
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 11, 2019
The story continues to evolve depending on who’s telling it. 76ers general manager Elton Brand said earlier Monday that the Lakers had originally reached out to the 76ers to approve such a meeting, and Brand had refused to authorize it. That’s pretty much the total opposite of what the Lakers are now saying.
The NBA has begun investigating this entire situation, and will be looking to settle this as quickly as possible before the rumor mill gets out of control.
The Philadelphia 76ers made a big move before the trade deadline to acquire Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers, but it puts the team in the position of having to try to find ways to reetain both him and Jimmy Butler this offseason.
According to general manager Elton Brand, Philadelphia’s ownership has given assurances that the team will be able to re-sign both players when they hit free agency, despite the fact that it’s bound to be an expensive proposition.
Elton Brand on whether it's possible to bring back both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris this summer: "Absolutely. I've gotten all assurances from the managing partners that we can bring them back and sign them." #sixers
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 8, 2019
In other words, the 76ers are setting in for the long haul and trying to build a core around a big four of Harris, Butler, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid. The Harris deal was one of the biggest of the deadline and a clear statement of intent, indicating that Philadelphia has moved completely into full-on contender status and aims to remain there for years to come.
The 2019 NBA trade deadline was an exceptionally active one with multiple big names changing teams, even if the biggest name on the market ended up staying put. That doesn’t change the fact that the action, especially in the Eastern Conference, was fast and furious, and that isn’t even factoring in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
Here are ten big takeaways from all the moves that took place prior to Thursday’s deadline.
1. The Anthony Davis saga will drag on into the summer, and the Lakers look worse for it
It didn’t seem like the New Orleans Pelicans ever had any real intention of negotiating with the Los Angeles Lakers in good faith on an Anthony Davis trade. The Pelicans have every incentive to wait until summer to deal Davis, when they should have a wider range of interested teams. The Lakers will be disappointed, as they don’t look great publicly, seem to have muddled the minds of their young players, and may now find themselves in a situation where they can be outbid. LeBron James probably won’t be happy, either.