By Titus Falodun
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Right now, trust in the process is shakier than clippers of an unstable barber using his bad hand, but there is no reason to panic because the Philadelphia 76ers lost one game in a series.
From everyday people to so-called NBA experts, the talk around town and throughout the nation is dread and doom concerning the Sixers following the Celtics winning Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Boston, 117-101.
Did third-year guard Terry Rozier continue his hot streak? Yes.
He had 29 points, channeling former quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s accuracy with the deep ball, as he went 7 of 9 from beyond the 3-point line.
Did rookie forward Jayson Tatum show up and show out? Yes.
The former Duke standout put the league on notice with his 28 points, showing that Kyrie Irving and Grant Hill may not be the best basketball players the school has ever produced.
Did big man Al Horford bring it? Yes.
The 31-year-old proved he is still in his prime as he finished the game with 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
But Terry isn’t scary.
Jayson isn’t Bird.
Al isn’t McHale and the Sixers are not going to shoot 19 percent from behind that 3-point line, while missing defensive assignments like they were wearing eye masks for sleeping.
Trust that Joel Embiid, who dropped what felt like a pedestrian 31 points, 13 rebounds and five assists the first game of the series, will be the post scorer (especially if the green guys continue the disrespect of not double teaming him) and defender the team deserves as he hosts a block party in Boston where all Celtics who want in can get it all the same.
Trust that Rookie-Of-The-Year lock Ben Simmons, whose seven turnovers overshadowed his 18 points, seven rebounds and six assist performance, will showcase why Sixers-great Julius “Dr. J” Erving called him a “once-in-a-lifetime type player.”
Trust that J.J. Redick, who despite a 20-point performance was outplayed by his Duke counterpart, will shoot better than 28.6 percent from three.
Trust that the necessary adjustments will be made to match the shooting prowess and athleticism of the hated Celtics.
This was one game in a seven-game series, in which the Sixers (though favorites) only need to win one of the first two games to gain home-court advantage and control of the series.
So for those who are allies to the process, who did not merely adopt it but were born in it, molded by it; for those who did not see The Process until they were already grown, the loss that happened Monday night was nothing but a FLUKE. Do not let the score fool you, this moment belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ain’t no stopping them now.
The Sixers quest to earn their first NBA title in decades continues at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. So, tune in and trust the process.