Why the Sixers need to avoid Boston in first round

Joel Embiid, Sixers Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, Sixers Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

All Sixers fans vividly remember the Celtics sweeping us in the Bubble in the first round of last year’s playoffs. It was an embarrassing performance and Boston continued its postseason dominance over Philadelphia. Interestingly enough, though, last season the Sixers won three of the four regular season meetings between the two teams prior to that sweep.

Obviously the regular season is not always an indication of how matchups will go in the postseason and that is why I am here to caution Sixers fans about a potential playoff matchup with the Celtics this year.

The Sixers have played well against the struggling Boston Celtics this season. However, a first round playoff matchup between these two teams could prove dangerous for Philadelphia.

The 76ers have beaten the Celtics in all three games they have played so far this season by an average of 10 points. In addition to the Sixers looking like potential title contenders, the Celtics seem to be in free fall, currently in the seventh seed in the East with a record of 26-26.

The above combination seems like a formula for easy advancement in the postseason, but I am not so sure that is how it would play out. The core of this Boston team is the same that has gone to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. Even though the Celtics have lost all three Conference Finals series, they beat the 76ers twice along the way. In those two playoff series against Boston, the Sixers are 1-8.

My goal is not to scare Sixers fans and provide unnecessary anxiety, it is to make them aware that regular season success against an opponent means nothing in the postseason. Maybe the Sixers can beat the Celtics in the playoffs this year with the talent and confidence they are currently playing with. But for me, I would be hesitant matching up with Boston in the first round or any round in this upcoming playoffs.

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