The Celtics were supposed to be the easy matchup of this year’s playoffs, the banged-up team that everyone wanted to face for free wins. That was the narrative that I bought into as a Bucks fan, and see where it got me. The 76ers fell into the same trap, and now they get to watch the ECF from their couches and think about how it probably should’ve been them that were there.
I would still definitely say this season was a success when it comes to the process being trusted. I didn’t think things would work out this well this quickly, and while this series defeat is pretty disappointing, advancing in the playoffs at all for a team this inexperienced means something. If LeBron comes in and ruins this by forcing his way to Philly, I’m gonna be pissed. And don’t even think about going to the Bucks, Bron-Bron. We don’t want you either. Go to the Lakers or something. There are soon to be teams in the East that you will have no chance against.
Sidenote: the 76ers would have won a lot more games this season if they hadn’t spent the first half of the year trying to pretend that Jerryd Bayless was a real NBA player. Just wanted to get that in before I have to stop talking about this team until next season.
Dario Saric scoring a season-high in a crucial playoff game means that this isn’t his fault. It maybe is a little bit since he didn’t do a whole ton in the first three games (all losses), but I think his last two performances make up for it. For as much as I ragged on him for not being all that good as a rookie (I hope Sixers fans aren’t still salty that Brogdon won ROY), he really impressed me this year. He just straight up got way better, even as the spotlight shifted to Ben Simmons and his Mona Lisa-looking face. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if his current level is close to his peak, but that’s okay. How many Euro prospects get as much hype as he did and then utterly fail to impress?