Celtics too good for 76ers in National Basketball Association opener

Report Terry Rozier ain't signing no extension

Gordon Hayward, playing in his first meaningful basketball game in 364 days after missing all but five minutes of past year due to a gruesome leg injury, was fighting through some obvious rust in what finished as a 10-point, 24-minute night.

The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers will write another chapter in their ageless Atlantic division rivalry with a game on TNT tonight at 7:00 p.m ET. Philadelphia turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and Boston capitalized by jumping out to an early lead. Joel Embiid added 23 points and 10 rebounds. He was limited to just 14 regular-season games due to a mysterious shoulder injury that impacted his shot.

Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown will be in the starting backcourt with Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford rounding out the starting five.

Rivalries form in the playoffs and last year the Celtics played the Sixers in the postseason for the first time since 2012, the last time Philadelphia had reached the postseason, and only the third time in 33 years. Dissing a team because it's too talented is certainly a new one.

"We switched a lot", coach Brett Brown said.

"I'm sure it is", he said. It sounds insane to even think about a game that far away, but the end of December will be here before basketball fans know it. No one would blame Hayward for taking this game easy after what happened previous year against the Cavaliers in his regular season debut.

Even though this one's an unlikely scenario, I think we all agree to the fact that is the playoff series most fans look forward to this season, especially considering how heated things got during their last preseason matchup when Lance Stephenson was ejected. But Stevens should be able to figure it out.

Hayward said it was "amazing" to be back out there.

The No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, he missed 68 games with a shoulder injury and was plagued by shooting issues and confidence problems. Fultz made his first National Basketball Association start on Tuesday.

The Celtics winning by 18 points on a night when Irving struggled to get his game going shows the strength in depth the Boston franchise possesses. "I think that's natural though", Hayward said.

Furthermore, this year may give us the chance to watch Carmelo Anthony get back at the team that waived him this offseason, while the Thunder would be desperate to prove how better they are without him bricking mid-range shots. That's how I am approaching it.

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