They ended up with a ideal 4-0 record both straight up and against the spread at home in the first round and have gone an impressive 8-1 SU and ATS in their last nine at TD Garden overall, dating back to the regular season.
Celtics forward Marcus Morris, a Philadelphia native, grew up watching the Allen Iverson-led 76ers that went to the NBA Finals in 2001 but lost to Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker's Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals the following year. Yes, Boston is moving on to play the Philadelphia 76ers, but that battle with the Bucks was also an eye-opener for Green Teamers, proving it's not just LeBron James (for now), the Toronto Raptors and Philly who should be feared in the East going forward.
Despite the series win, Celtics players treated the Game 7 win as if it was just business as usual. To sort it all out, here are three takeaways from Game 1. After a missed three by Antoine Walker, AI sealed the win with 1.6 seconds to go by making two free-throws.
It makes one think of Sixers guard Andrew Toney, nicknamed the "Boston Strangler", because he played so well against the Celtics. That matchup turned into a juicy, somewhat humorous subplot within the series and Rozier handled his emotions far better than Bledsoe and also significantly outplayed him.
With the win, Boston will face Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Horford was brilliant in the first round, averaging 18.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting almost 59 percent from the field.
The Sixers lead all playoff teams in scoring (114.2 points), rebounds (50) and steals (9).
Embiid scored 31 points with 13 rebounds for Philadelphia.
Brown grew up in Maine. This will be the 20h post-season meeting between the teams. The 76ers dominated from opening tip and led by 18 going into the fourth. In the second quarter, Tatum and Horford combined to score 19 points, and Tatum finished the first half with 16 by himself. Kyrie Irving didn't play. Brown is one of the most reliable scorers in what is an already limited Celtics offense without Kyrie Irving.
Terry Rozier will be tasked to keep up with Simmons every game while having to put up for numbers for himself as well. The matchup is in Horford's favor. He said, "Hey, Boston, it's the original Bledsoe" and then encouraged the fans to get loud. Embiid said that the protective guard annoys him, hindering his vision, but did confirm that he's named it "The Phantom of the Process".
During the regular season, the Celtics beat the Sixers in three of four games but the playoffs are a different story.
But Rozier's massive production, even though it's mainly occurring in the friendly confines of TD Garden, has been a playoff revelation for Boston.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown knows that fight and most of those great playoff matchups happened before his players were even born.