The Boston Celtics start their championship run against the Philadelphia 76ers. Coming into the ’19-’20 season, the 76ers where regarded as one of, if not the team to come out of the Eastern Conference and play in the Finals. Having guys like Embiid and Simmons helps, but adding an Al Horford with Tobias Harris helps tremendously, or at least on paper it seemed like. The 76ers have not been the team they were hyped up to be. They had some performance issues to say the least. Horford doesn’t seem to fit in correctly, Simmons is hurt, no pure shooter, and things just went downhill as the season went on. It also doesn’t seem they found their personality as a team. The Simmons injury definitely hurts them but the lack of chemistry is what I think hurts them the most. It’s very opposite of the Celtics.
The Celtics compared to Philadelphia, or any team, have an unmatched chemistry. Everyone knows their roles, plays them to the best, and the biggest thing; they trust one another. The 2 young Jays know their role: go out and dominate in all aspects of the game. Kemba and Hayward know theirs: back up Jay squared and make the shots that you’re given. Even the bench guys know what they need to do. I think Robin Williams is the perfect example of that. He’s a guy that was drafted for a single role and he’s worked the past couple years on perfecting fitting into Brad’s team. Before the suspension, the Celtics were playing great. I think the bubble helped them zone in. It feels like they understand that, this is it. It’s a couple months of dead serious ball and they can sneak out of the bubble with a ring.
The Celtics and the 76ers have had a rivarly back since the 80s. The Lakers is the big one but the history with the 76ers does go back some time. However, it felt like it’s been ramped up in the past couple of years. I was hoping for an all out battle with them but with Simmons hurt, we won’t get the full satisfactory of beating this Philly team. Honestly speaking, I don’t think this series was close even with Simmons. Maybe I’m being totally baised but they way Philly has been playing and they way the Cs have been, just feels like two extremely different teams. I’ve wrote in the past that sometimes the Cs don’t always show up and they could hurt them. One or two games can lead down a very slipperly slope. I have no doubt if the Celtics play their basketball and Hayward Education Reform continues to play the way he’s been playing, we’ll be in the ECF easy. Maybe even the Finals. Can’t wait to watch some playoff basketball.
-Mike Yebba (@amikewithamic_)