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Sixers and Celtics to renew playoff rivalry

02 May, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Carla Brady
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He matched his playoff career high with 26 points on 13-of-17 shooting in Game 7, and averaged a team-high 18.1 points and 8.7 rebounds for the series.

Despite the series win, Celtics players treated the Game 7 win as if it was just business as usual. With the impressive victory, the Celtics punched a ticket in the East semifinals against the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers.

Joel Embiid was not too happy with the Philadelphia 76ers' defensive performance on Monday.

The Boston Celtics needed the full seven games to dispatch the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, and now an even greater challenge lies ahead in the form of the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers.

All that history on the parquet floor.

It recalls a rivalry so intense that Larry Bird and Julius Erving once came to blows in a 1984 regular season game.

The Sixers led all teams in assist percentage in the first round as 67.9% of their baskets were assisted.

He's not expecting any favors from his hometown crowd.

"It's what I think I've been doing all year", Horford said. "I know where this organisation is headed".

For comparison's sake, OddsShark revealed that the Celtics were -170 favorites over the Bucks in the first round, who held odds of +150.

Plus, veteran guard Marcus Smart's return from thumb surgery gave Boston a big boost over the past three games. Boston closed it out Saturday night with a convincing 112-96 win at the Garden with the help of 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds from Rozier.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens can remember exactly when he told his team to forget about the concept of age. Redick and Ersan Ilyasova and you get one great team.

Morris said he's enjoyed watching the hometown Eagles win the Super Bowl, followed by Villanova's NCAA basketball championship. A guy that's been there my entire life and not really seeing it at its peak.

"I thought we left a lot of possessions out there to chance and you just can't do that in a game seven", he said.

Philadelphia is a blur in motion - and not just in transition. "Obviously they don't have the post presence Philly does, but in transition they're kind of similar". "If it takes for us to go back and forth, jaw back and forth, battle, push each other, that's part of the game".

That Philly offense is going to test Boston's defense - but this isn't the Heat, either.

"It looks like it could be something that allows him to play as the series goes on", Stevens said. Rookie forward Jayson Tatum can score, as evidenced by his 15.4-point average in the first round. He said on Saturday he would be back.

"Whatever it takes, I wouldn't miss this series for the world", Brown said.

Yet, if any team is prepared to adjust to another dose of adversity on the fly, it's a squad that's played all but five minutes of the season without its marquee free-agent acquisition in Gordon Hayward, and the final month of the regular season and all of the playoffs without five-time All-Star Kyrie Irving.



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