Last postseason, the Boston Celtics handled the Philadelphia 76ers in the second-round and it took them only five games to beat them considering the fact they did not have Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Boston beat them again to open up the NBA season. On Christmas Day at T and D Bank Garden in Boston, it was another intense playoff like match up between the Celtics and the 76ers.
Kyrie Irving made a clutch two-point shot near the end of regulation to tie the game at 108. Philadelphia had a chance to win it in regulation but they missed the shot. The 76ers got caught up in the moment in overtime. Irving made two clutch three pointers in overtime as he scored 40 points and it lifted the Boston Celtics to a 121-114 victory.
Once again sports is all about match ups. It doesn't matter who is struggling or who is rolling. If one team always has another's team number, it isn't going to fare well for the other team at the end of the day.
Philadelphia is currently going through that phase right now. They have lost the last nine-out-of-11 games to this team. The Philadelphia 76ers have struggled on the road this season, but they have not won a game in Boston since January 18, 2018.
Philadelphia better hope they don't play Boston in the playoffs. If the season ended right now, these two teams would meet each other in the first-round. The only good news in this scenario is that the 76ers would have home court advantage. In the NBA, it is a big deal to have home court advantage. It might be the biggest deal out of the four majors sports to have a home series advantage.
They will play each other two more this season and both of those games will be in Philadelphia. The 76ers have a chance to win both of those because they are much better at home.
Another reason why Boston continues to be in Philadelphia's head is because number one they hustle more. The Celtics seems to get to lose balls more often. The second reason is coaching. Brad Stevens is more ready for in game situations rather than Brett Brown. The third reason is the Boston Celtics have a better bench than the Philadelphia 76ers do.
With all of that in mind, Philadelphia does have Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Jimmy Butler. They need to give Butler and Embiid the ball more in crunch time situations and that wasn't done in this game. Simmons not being able to shoot jump shots is a concern for this team. What is also a concern for this team is that they do not have Markelle Fultz healthy and it continues to jeopardize them whether we see it or not.
Fultz was the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. That is why this is concerning for them. Jayson Tatum was the number three pick in the 2018 NBA Draft for the Boston Celtics and he continues to make the right play for them on both ends of the floor time-and-time again.
The Celtics are 1-2 against the combination of the Indiana Pacers, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Toronto Raptors this season. The 76ers are 2-4 against the combination of the Indiana Pacers, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Toronto Raptors.
All five of those teams have a chance to win the Eastern Conference this season. The match ups are going to matter in the playoffs and which ever team remains mentality tough will win the conference.