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The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers have a long history of playoff matchups. Game one of this series will mark the 110th time these two have gone against each in the postseason. The Celtics swept the 76ers the last time they met in the playoffs and with injury concerns looming, Philadelphia could face a similar fate.
Keys To The Series:
Philadelphia can’t allow players like Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon to pile up on points. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum will garner the most attention, but it’s going to be hard to stop them. The other Boston players can’t be allowed to get clean looks and get into a rhythm.
Philadelphia did a good job shooting threes in round one and that needs to continue. Boston can get cooking scoring wise and the Sixers need to match that intensity for as much of the series as possible.
With Joel Embiid being injured and doubtful for at least game one with a knee injury, Boston has to limit the combination of Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. The duo combined to average over 40 points per game in round one and they both will get plenty of shots in this series. The Celtics can’t afford to let them go off.
Boston cannot give Philadelphia extra possessions. They have to stay away from silly fouls and turnovers and they’ll need to control the glass. The Celtics definitely have a more talented team (especially if there’s no Embiid), so they shouldn’t give the 76ers any extra momentum.
Everyone on the Sixers will have to pick up some slack with Joel Embiid’s injury, but James Harden has to be great. He has the pedigree to take over games and it’s time for him to put an imprint on the playoffs.
Marcus Smart’s defense will be huge in this series. Philadelphia will attack with their guards and Smart needs to lock down whoever he’s defending.
Even if both squads were at full strength, this would be a tough battle for the 76ers. Ultimately, Embiid’s injury will be too much to overcome for Philly.
Boston wins in five games.