76'ers Joel Embiid: "This is not a rivalry" - Celtics bench shines in win

The Celtics bench came through big-time in Boston's 105-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76'ers. The win elicited this response from 76'ers center, Joel Embiid (per NBA's Kyle Hightower): ''This not a rivalry,'' he (Embiid) said. ''I don't know our record against them (Celtics). But it's pretty bad. They always kick our ass. So this is not a rivalry.''

Superstar-in-the-making Jayson Tatum was high scorer for Boston with 23 points and was simply outstanding, but the Celtics bench was just too much for Philadelphia to handle. I have been critical of Marcus Morris in the past, but he came through in this game with 16 points and 10 rebounds in only 20 minutes of floor time.

Aron Baynes made it clear why Danny Ainge wanted him back. Aron had the task of covering Embiid, but also managed to score eight points on 3-of-7 from the floor, while adding four rebounds and three assists. The high point of his night was hitting 2-of-4 from 3-point-land. It was obvious that opposing teams will have to pay attention to him as he stretches the floor for Boston.

Terry Rozier certainly did not disappoint. He notched 11 points on 5-of-10 from the field, while grabbing eight boards and making one hell of a block on Joel Embiid. T-Ro was also Boston's high man on plus/minus with a +22 for the game.

Marcus Smart added his usual line of seven points, three rebounds, three assists and one floor-burn chasing down a loose ball. As TNT analyst Reggie Miller stated, "You can't play around with the basketball around Marcus Smart." His 2-of-4 from beyond the arc really got my attention. Hopefully, that will continue.

The Celtics bench quartet of Baynes, Rozier, Morris and Smart accounted for 25 of 55 Boston rebounds and 42 of the Celtics 105 points. Conversely, Philly's bench production came mostly from J. J. Redick with 16 points in 29 minutes. Boston's depth may be the determining factor in the race to the next Championship.

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Photo via Chris Christo/Boston Herald