In a match up that may ultimately cause NBA Twitter to explode, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers will meet in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The two Atlantic Division rivals met four times this year, with Boston winning three of the matchups. Unfortunately, you can’t draw much from the regular season series. The last time these two met was in late January. Since then, Boston has lost Kyrie Irving and Daniel Theis and added Greg Monroe. Philadelphia has added two key rotation players in Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova.
Another tricky part of evaluating these two teams head-to-head is that Philadelphia has shown considerable growth in the second half of the season. Some of the things they did early in the year have been scrapped and other, more favorable, system changes have been implemented.
Finally, you can’t easily preview this matchup in terms of position vs position. This is because of the uniqueness of Ben Simmons. On offense, Simmons plays as traditional a point guard role as there is the league. On defense, he generally guards a wing or a big. Because of that, we have to approach the preview slightly differently from the way we did with the Milwaukee Bucks.
With all of that in mind, on to the matchups!