Simmons' Sixers bounced by Baynes' Celtics

Simmons' Sixers bounced by Baynes' Celtics”

As long as Embiid can stay healthy, they are a serious threat to win the East and are rightfully favored to win this series over the Celtics. For these two teams, age hasn't mattered as much as it should. Don't be surprised if this one goes the same way as their last two playoff series.

The total has gone over in nine of Boston's last 11 games. Both teams could conceivably win this series, but here are four (of the several) reasons why the Sixers ought to win.

The Sixers have not been to the playoffs since that night until this season. While Miami had little option but to rough the Sixers up to slow them down, Boston, with the third-best defensive rating in the National Basketball Association, has players capable of defending without gimmicks. Getting to Game 7 in the first round was a small measure of progress after Milwaukee was eliminated in six games the previous season by Toronto.

Two days after Iverson's heroics, Paul Pierce exploded for 46 points in a Game 5 blowout of the Sixers.

Late in the fourth quarter with the Celtics leading the Bucks by 19 points, "We want Philly!" chants began to echo throughout TD Garden.

That task will get a lot more hard for Rozier and Co. against the defense-savvy Sixers, who can also space the floor with a lineup of matchup nightmares at any time.

Al Horford had 26 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which will host Game 2 on Thursday night. In the Celtics 4-3 series win over Milwaukee, Brown averaged 17.9 PPG while shooting 46.7%. He had 10 points and 6 assists in the first quarter and was 7 for 9 from 3-point range.

Rondo being Rondo. Well, actually, Rondo being "Playoff Rondo". If Horford can keep Embiid locked up like he did in most of their matchups then Boston could have a chance if they find some offense. Those guys are hot right now and playing very well.

It's no accident that the Sixers won all three postseason contests since star center Joel Embiid (18.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3 blocks) came back from a fractured orbital bone. Rozier may not shoot lights out from three every night, but he's admirably filled in for Kyrie Irving.

Like Embiid, it would be remiss to not game plan for the skill set of Ben Simmons.

The pace of Monday's game certainly favored the Celtics. That's not to say that Embiid makes the Sixers worse when they play the Celtics, but he's not as effective against the C's scrappy defense. This series would've been great if Irving was available but he's out for the playoffs and that should give the young 76ers squad a huge boost in confidence. During the regular season, the Celtics had the best defensive rating (the Sixers were third) and ranked third in fewest points allowed per game (100.4). Philly, well, they chose to "Trust the Process" and bailed on Doug Collins a year later. The teams meet for the 20th time in what has always been the Celtics but also been the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia Warriors/Sixers.

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