4 Teams that should especially want to avoid Celtics in first round of playoffs

These teams should be seeking to avoid Boston at all costs.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Philadelphia 76ers

Another rivalry that has been brewing in the Eastern Conference for many years, the 76ers have struggled mightily against the Celtics all throughout the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown era. The two teams have commonly been referred to as rivals, but they are far from that even in the eyes of Joel Embiid.

After a game against the Celtics in 2018, Embiid got candid about Philly's already-evident struggles against Boston. "This is not a rivalry. They always kick our [butt]," said Embiid. This statement came after a 2018 playoff loss in five games to the Celtics, but it would be far from the final time the Celtics would hand the 76ers a postseason loss.

In the Bubble in 2020, Philadelphia matched up with Boston in the first round, getting swept 4-0 while playing without Ben Simmons. Then last season, it was the Celtics coming back from a 3-2 series deficit to knock out the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals once again.

Still without a trip to the Conference Finals in the Joel Embiid era, things are getting dire in Philadelphia. If the Sixers were to face the Celtics in round one and lose again, it could trigger conversations about the team looking into trading Embiid.