A playoff matchup against Sixers with Joel Embiid back in lineup scares Boston Celtics reporter

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

MassLive's Souichi Terada fears what a Philadelphia 76ers team with Joel Embiid back in the lineup could do to the Boston Celtics in the postseason -- not fearing a first-round upset, but fearing the consequences of facing the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals could mean for the later rounds.

"...the Sixers aren’t exactly an easy team to face in the first round," Terada prefaced before saying, "They’ve slipped in recent weeks, which is no surprise as reigning MVP Joel Embiid has been sidelined with an injury. But the big man could be back soon from the meniscus injury, changing the team significantly. While the C’s will still be favored against a fully-healthy Sixers squad, meeting them in the first round for extra wear and tear could affect them later in the playoffs."

Embiid could return to the Sixers' lineup on April 2 at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He's been limited to just 34 games this season after suffering a left meniscus injury suffered in late January.

Tyrese Maxey, not Joel Embiid, the Sixer the Boston Celtics need to worry about

Embiid isn't the Sixer the Celtics need to worry about. With Embiid coming off an injury that kept him out most of the season, his effectiveness should be lessened, and during the teams' 2023 playoff matchup, Embiid was limited to 42% shooting and was held to 15 points in a Game 7 win for Boston. If anything, he may be more of a decoy if anything this postseason.

It's Tyrese Maxey the Cs must worry about.

Maxey has had a career year for the Sixers, and that includes 78 combined points against Boston in three games during the 2023-24 season. If anyone is going to carry momentum into the regular season and tee off on the Cs from the 3-point line -- something the Atlanta Hawks did to overcome a 30-point deficit to beat Boston on March 25 -- it'll be him.