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Celtics vs. Sixers: NBA Playoffs Round 2

In every sport there are rivalries that always have fans hooked to the TV. In the NBA, one of those rivalries have come back to life after the 76ers turned themselves, along with the C’s, into one of the better young teams in the NBA. After years of tanking and being the laughing-stock of the league, the Sixers are FINALLY back to being a top-tier team. This renewed rivalry with the Celtics is great for the NBA and its fans.

This will be the 20th playoff match-up between the two teams. The Celtics have gotten the better of these match-ups throughout their rivalry, with a 54-46 record in the postseason. This rivalry goes back to the days of Bill and Wilt, Larry and Dr. J, and now our young guns vs. their young guns. With guys like Simmons, Embiid, Saric, Tatum, Brown, Rozier, and veterans like Horford and Reddick, this series has ALL the makings of an INSTANT CLASSIC. Let’s not forget that the C’s are on this playoff run with All-Star players out of the lineup (Kyrie and Hayward) and with a banged up Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown.



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The Celtics took Game 1 at The Garden 117-101, which saw three Celtics players with 20+ points. Terry Rozier was absolutely on FIRE after continuing his dominant play at home, shooting a CRAZY 7/9 from three point land. Al Horford posted a solid line of 26/7/4, while Tatum contributed 28/3/2. Tatum did not show signs of being a rookie at all (as mentioned by C’s great Kevin McHale). There were contributions all around in this game both on offense and defense, and the Celtics bench outplayed the Sixers bench. Overall, we basically ran them out of the gym all while missing TWO SUPERSTARS!

Game 1 was neck and neck for a while, with the Celtics losing some double-digit leads but ultimately got it together. Trust me, I have my doubts with this series because of the talent the Sixers have compared to the injuries Boston has. But after last night I am convinced we can STEAL this series. However, it’s going to take ONE thing: WINNING ON THE ROAD, which the Celtics have failed to do so far in this postseason.

Predictions & X-Factors

Celtics fans have to be happy with getting an early jump on this young, athletic, and talented Sixers team. Although we are missing key players due to injuries, I believe we match-up better in this series with their starting five and bench than we did last series having to deal with Giannis and Middleton.

The X-factors in this series are multiple guys who will need to help this team win. In my opinion, the Celtics need Rozier, Horford, Smart, Tatum, and Brown to continue playing well at home and on the road. The bench production will be hot and cold for both teams. But, ultimately it will come down to how the starters play both at home and on the road. Plus they need to make sure the defense contains Ben Simmons and J.J. Reddick because let’s face it, Joel Embiid is going to do WORK!

I love the way this team is playing now with young guys firing on all cylinders. There is one guy I think that should get more playing time against Embiid, and that’s Greg Monroe. Monroe hasn’t played since early in the Bucks series. I think he can be a huge compliment to Baynes and Horford when it comes to an inside presence. However, like the old saying goes, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it”. Another X-factor for me will be the atmosphere inside the Garden, which was electric last night. The fans always seem to pump this team up, and last night they hit Ben Simmons with a “Not A Rookie” chant, which was an absolute classic!

Series Prediction

My prediction for this series is the Celtics FINALLY get a road win and they take the series in 6 games, moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet LeBron James and the streaky Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, I get it, the Cavs aren’t what they use to be, but they still have LBJ and Kevin Love mixed with championship experience that I think will get them by the Toronto Raptors.

Judging by the picture below of the Sixers bench completely leaving the court with 10.5 seconds still remaining. It seems that Scary Terry did his job and had them retreating to the locker room in FEAR.