"I'll be back", Brown told NBC Sports Boston after Game 1, which the Celticswon 117-101.
After out-scoring the Sixers by eight in the second and shooting 48.9 percent from the field, while knocking down 7-of-16 from deep, the Celtics held a 56-45 lead heading into halftime. Boston led by 87-70 in the final minute of the third quarter when Philadelphia scored 9 straight points to pull within 9.
Boston held the 76ers to just 42.2 per cent shooting, and just 19 per cent from three-point range. Al Horford (26 points), in particular, found plenty of daylight when he roamed the perimeter away from Embiid's comfort zone in the paint.
In all, it was the kind of performance that make playoff legends.
Horford was the steady presence the Celtics needed in all phases of the game, doing yeoman's work on defense against Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and facilitating an offense that's still functioning without Irving. I thought I was s-tty. What we did learn, however, is that if Boston's active talent plays to the potential that they have shown in flashes, the 76ers will not get anything else in this series, and can not afford any of their top players to have a bad performance. "No matter who's on the court, we're well-coached. When everybody is on, we're the best defensive team in the game". Redick is an above average defender, but he's more suited to guard players his own size, which is why Brown will likely adjust by moving him onto Smart.
"I think they came ready to play and we were very rusty", Simmons said postgame. "That can't happen. He's a pretty good shooter and you have to respect that".
Last year's third overall pick averaged 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 steals in 30.5 minutes a game.
"There was some concern that I could re-aggravate it and it becomes a season-ending injury", he said. We saw high end potential in game one, and they may not be able to repeat that on a regular basis.
And the Sixers are coming off a 4-1 series win over the (#6) Miami Heat and haven't played since last Tuesday's Game 5 win.
To no one's surprise, Embiid responded to the charged atmosphere with his trademark dismissiveness and braggadocio, telling reporters he planned to draw motivation from the exchanges.
"It didn't bother me", Embiid said of the crowd. It didn't bother me. "He's starting to understand what he needs to do and its great to see for our team". In the series that we're about to play and compete in, there's a lot that's gone on long before us that is worth knowing about.
Embiid's harsh, but accurate, self-assessment clearly matters more than his comparative decibel analysis.