76ers-Celtics Preview Capsule
Capsule for the Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics second-round NBA playoff series that starts Monday:
No. 2 BOSTON CELTICS (55-27, 4-3) vs. No. 3 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (52-30, 4-1)
Season series: Celtics, 3-1.
Story line: These teams last met on Jan. 18, and they are a whole lot different now. The Celtics are without Kyrie Irving, and the 76ers have added Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova — two players who were great for Philadelphia in its first-round win over Miami. Philly has won 20 of its last 21 games, and is playing with incredible confidence. And this series will surely bring back memories of the Celtics-76ers rivalry of years gone past; this is only the third time the franchises have met in the postseason since 1985.
How They Got Here: Boston beat No. 7 Milwaukee 4-3, and Philadelphia beat No. 6 Miami 4-1.
Key Matchup: Boston coach Brad Stevens vs. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown. The Celtics will have matchup problems with Philadelphia, so it’s incumbent on Stevens — who is a brilliant tactician — to be at his scheming best in this matchup. Brown was a calming force in the series against the Heat, not wavering from message even after Philadelphia lost home-court edge in a Game 2 defeat.
Prediction: 76ers in 6.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds
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