To see how much truth there actually was to that characterization, I pulled Embiid's defensive matchups stats from NBA.com and, combining both regular season and playoffs, filtered down to the defenders who had spent at least 70 total possessions defending him last season. Irving didn't get on the board until the second half (on a pair of free throws).
However, he did finish with seven assists, and was also a +9 plus/minus, so his performance wasn't poor. Tatum averaged 13.9 points, 1.6 assists, and 5.0 rebounds while playing 30.5 minutes per game.
And why not, coming off that major injury on opening night a year ago. The Celtics won their opener, 105-87.
The forward made his Celtic debut at the TD Garden, playing 24 minutes and scoring 10 points.
"If we can guard like that, we've got a chance to be decent", he said. TNT and other cable channels are available in most markets via Hulu Live TV so you will be able to catch the simulcast and watch tonight's Sixers Celtics game without cable.
Altogether on Opening Night, the 76ers scored just 50 points on the 60 possessions during which Horford or Baynes were matched up with Embiid.
Aron Baynes and Rozier - both of whom were starting lineup constants in the playoffs previous year - will help lead the second unit, along with Morris, Smart and Daniel Theis.
Possible extension to UK's Brexit transition period talked up by Ireland
Interested in Brexit? Add Brexit as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Brexit news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Maybe - but it is unlikely to bring about the concrete agreement hoped for.
The Celtics will feature the return of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to the court after both suffered season-ending injuries past year.
Boston got some distance in the second half thanks largely to its bench, which outscored its Philadelphia counterparts 44-26.
Then there's the matter of a certain National Basketball Association draft in June 2017, when the Celtics dealt the Sixers their No. 1 pick in exchange for the No. 3 pick and a coveted future first-round draft pick. Third-string point guard (in name only) Terry Rozier, meanwhile, finished his night with 11 points, eight rebounds, and a Celtic-leading plus-22 in 26 minutes off the bench.
These two teams do have some history between them, but the Kevin Durant drama has mostly died out at this point.
76ers: Host the Bulls on Thursday.
The Fultz that played for the Sixers last season looked like an Anthony Bennett-level bust and I can't blame anyone for wishing that the Sixers traded him for an established star in Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler.
Follow BDN Maine Sports on Facebook for the latest in Maine high school and college sports.