NBA Playoffs 2024 format, dates, rounds: Analyzing potential 76ers first-round foes

The Philadelphia 76ers are likely to qualify for the playoffs for the sixth straight year.

76ers, Tyrese Maxey, Jalen Brunson
76ers, Tyrese Maxey, Jalen Brunson / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Potential first-round opponents for the 76ers

Boston Celtics

Season Series: Celtics win, 3-1

The Numbers: Boston (1st in ORtg, 2nd in DRtg) vs Philadelphia (6th in ORtg, 14th in DRth)

Boston is, wthout a doubt, the best team in the NBA this season. The playoffs could be a different story, but at this juncture, they are widely considered the favorites to hoist the championship trophy at the end of the cycle.

The Celtics have an extremely talented and battle-tested roster with extensive playoff experience to boot. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to be elite scorers with more maturity under their belts, Kristaps Porzingis has inarguably been the best offseason addition by any team, and Jrue Holiday and Derrick White form an unfairly dominant defensive backcourt with sufficient juice as tertiary creators. Oh, and Al Horford hasn’t really declined.

The 76ers have actually been competitive with the Celtics for the most part, but it’s hard to envision them winning a seven-game series against their rivals. Their five-out offense is too difficult to even slow down, and their top-notch defense has been a tedious wall to crack all year long.

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