But by pairing Embiid with 2016 No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, Philadelphia found a young one-two punch as intimidating as any in the National Basketball Association. He missed a pair of shots near the basket that would have tied the game with 11 seconds remaining and had a potential rebound carom off his body, giving the Celtics the ball.
That 108-103 loss last week marked the worst game of Simmons' young career.
The way this team has matured over this season is remarkable, but it still has a long way to go.
"Me and Ben have a lot of room to grow", Embiid said, according to Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver".
"I feel like we had more [to show]". That makes me a better player.
After a chat with Sixers legend Allen Iverson and taking some time to refocus, Simmons was able to find that freedom back home at the Wells Fargo Center.
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The Celtics have exposed Simmons' poor shooting by standing off him and daring him to shoot while smothering the 76ers' arsenal of three-point shooters JJ Redick, Dario Saric, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova with defenders.
JJ Redick hit an off-balance 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds to play to pull Philadelphia within one.
"Amazing" is how Celtics' veteran Al Horford described the often unsung Baynes' performance in Wednesday's 114-112 thriller victory in Boston that clinched a 4-1 eastern conference semi-finals series win over the 76ers.
"LeBron is on just a ridiculous run of play and we know it will be quite a challenge", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
"We have a rotation we believe in and we have the spirit to move this thing forward and we want to go back to Philadelphia". We've gotta be the harder playing team.
"I'm excited to learn from this stuff, because I felt like we had a pretty good chance", the big man continued, "but you've just gotta learn from it and we're gonna be fine". "They play well together".