Philadelphia 76ers: 3 takeaways from season-opening loss to Boston Celtics

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Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2018 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Gordon Hayward made an emotional return to the court for his first National Basketball Association game since suffering a season-ending broken leg and dislocated ankle six minutes into last year's opening game against Clevelend.

In his second game, Hayward scored 4 points on 1-of-7 shooting, 4 rebounds in 21 minutes in their only preseason win against the Hornets. It was great to be out there.

Philly's 2017 trade for the rights to draft Markelle Fultz at No. 1 is one that's going to haunt this franchise for quite some time and may go down as one of the biggest missteps in NBA Draft history.

Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both returned to the court after injuries derailed them last season.

"A lot to work on, but the joy of being out here was awesome". "They've got playmakers, they've got shot-takers, they're just play-off-built". Going through warm-ups for sure I was having flashbacks. I don't think anyone assumes this will be the norm for Irving.

As part of the pregame festivities, a video was played on the scoreboard showing Hayward's progression during his long rehab, and he watched from the sideline.

Hayward was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd when he left the game in the final seconds. "I don't know our record against them. I had to wait a year for it but it was awesome".

If the argument in his favor last season - to which I ultimately came around - was how he succeeded despite losing talent to injury; this season the Celtics have that talent.

Celtics-Sixers. Both teams claim there's nothing to it.

"You can't have better leaders than Al (Horford) and Baynes". But Fultz's play was so bad last season, that he wasn't good enough to convince a team to give up their unhappy star for him. "It's going to be fun".

"It can come down to 20 minutes, 15 minutes so just try to change the game some type of way with the time I'm given", Morris said.

Whether the Celtics want to admit it or not, it's already there.

Their job has been made undoubtedly easier by the fact that LeBron James departed the Eastern conference for the West, moving from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers.

It is a motto we saw at work in Boston's 105-87 season-opening win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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