Boston Celtics: B/R claims 76ers are the playoff matchup Cs “don’t want”

Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Bleacher Report believes the Boston Celtics’ first-round opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, is the exact matchup they do not want.

Though we’ve pretty much known for months now that the Boston Celtics would most likely be squaring off against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2020 postseason, with the Indiana Pacers’ win over the Houston Rockets this past Wednesday, the matchup has finally been made official.

The shamrocks and Sixers have met four times throughout the regular season, with Philly winning the series three games to one. For the entirety of their outings, Philadelphia managed to best the team in multiple important statistical categories, including rebounding (205 vs 154), blocks (23 vs 12), and scoring efficiency (Philly shot 45 percent from the field & 33 percent from deep while Cs shot 43 percent & 32 percent from deep).

However, that was then and this is now, where Boston is coming out of the Disney bubble fully healthy with a record of 5-3 & an overall record of 48-25 whereas the 76ers are 3-4 in Orlando, have an overall record of 42-30, and with Ben Simmons‘ recent knee surgery, are appearing a bit hobbled heading into the postseason.

While we are by no means happy to see any player sustain an injury, in regard to Boston’s path to attaining banner number 18, a Simmons-less Sixers as a first-round opponent does, on paper, appear to ease things up in the beginning of their upcoming playoff run… at least, in our minds it does.

In the mind of Bleacher Report writer Zach Buckley, however, they are still a team that should seriously concern the Cs. In fact, he went as far as to say Philadelphia is a team Boston “doesn’t want to face”

In one of his latest articles entitled 1 Playoff Matchup Every NBA Contender Doesn’t Want to FaceBuckley — whom we at the Houdini have tremendous respect for — went on to say the Sixers, despite their recent misfortune, are still a menacing opponent for the shamrocks.

His argument reads as follows:

"The Philadelphia 76ers are decidedly less threatening without Ben Simmons, who underwent knee surgery Monday that is likely to sideline him for the rest of the season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. And while Joel Embiid‘s ankle ailment doesn’t appear to be serious, it’s the latest in a long line of reminders that he’s no stranger to the injury report.However, the Sixers sans Simmons still remain best positioned to punish the Celtics on the interior.Last summer, Boston let Al Horford walk straight to Philadelphia and never really replaced him. Daniel Theis has been a serviceable starter, but as a 6’8″, 215-pounder, there’s only so much he can do against bigger, more physical players.“At a certain point, you have to protect the rim and end possessions with defensive rebounds,” The Athletic’s Zach Harper wrote. “That’s going to be hard to do if Joel Embiid fouls out your already thin frontcourt.”"

Buckley would end his section on the Boston Celtics, stating their interior defense is a major concern heading into the playoffs, and “Embiid is good enough to make it a fatal flaw.”

Personally, we believe this matchup will indefinitely be a physical series that is filled with underlying storylines, including Al Horford going against his former team, and Joel Embiid trying to exact revenge on Boston after they knocked them out the last time they faced off in the playoffs.

That said, to say Philly is the matchup the Boston Celtics “don’t want” is quite interesting, considering how injury-riddled the team currently is in comparison to the C’s overall health status, which finally appears to be positive.

Are the 76ers a challenge for Beantown? Of course, especially considering how their regular-season series went down.

However, as stated earlier, “that was then and this is now” and, in the “now”, Boston seems ready for virtually any opponent.

What do you guys think about the C’s impending first-round matchup against the Sixers?

In your eyes, are they a team Boston shouldn’t want to face?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

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