The Boston Celtics dispatched the Philadelphia 76ers from the playoff picture Wednesday, but Philly stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons remained extremely optimistic after the Game 5 loss in Boston as both discussed the opportunity to win rings (plural) together with the Sixers.
"We have a bright future", Embiid said. "I'm much better than you guys think". We've gotta learn from it.More news: The Avengers May Continue Assembling Beyond 'Avengers 4'
Many thought Philadelphia would have a chance against Boston since they were without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, but the Celtics surprised the Sixers and the rest of the National Basketball Association by winning the series in five games.
After the game, Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown said he wasn't ready to reflect on anything the Sixers might have accomplished during the season.
"The feeling right now is I didn't want to be done". In addition to Embiid, Simmons and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia could have $25 million in projected cap space this summer if it renounces the rights to free agents Redick, Ersan Ilyasova, Marco Belinelli and Amir Johnson. Smart will most likely be matched up against LeBron James on defense.More news: Xi discuss bilateral trade over phone call
While Simmons would love to bottle up that production and take it back to Boston for Wednesday's critical Game 5 (8 p.m./TNT), he knows it all starts with the team's approach. Peak Embiid. The only thing lacking was a 3-pointer, but he finished with 27 points (9-for-18 shooting), 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks in his best performance of the postseason.
The franchise center said he and Simmons "have a lot of room to grow", and referenced the beginning of the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook era in Oklahoma City as an example of how two young talents can reshape an organization.More news: Paxton pitches sixth no-hitter in Mariners' history