Philadelphia 76ers to face off with Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference Semifinals

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The Bucks also need to stop trying to acquire and develop long, tall players for Kidd's doomed trapping-style defense and instead concentrate on bringing in outside shooters to better fit with slashers such as Antetokounmpo, Parker and Bledsoe.

In the regular season, the Miami Heat were one of the slowest teams in the National Basketball Association, averaging 97.75 possessions per game, 26th in the league. Furthermore, ESPN's Forecast Panel gave Philly a 62 percent chance to make it to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Sixers are up against a crafty second-round opponent in the Celtics.

BOSTON - Terry Rozier scored 29 points and first-year Celtics forward Jayson Tatum scored 28 to outplay redshirt rookie Ben Simmons and lead the Boston Celtics to a 117-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night. The home team won every game in that series.

Brown is zooming in on how the Sixers will score against the Celtics. Meanwhile, the Celtics have only had one day off following an emotional Game 7. Boston was led by Kyrie Irving's 21 points while Philadelphia was led by J.J. Redick's 19. With the injuries at guard, it has been up to Horford to really produce on offense and help with rebounding. The 6-foot-10 point guard Simmons and the 7-foot Embiid have a full complement of weapons like sharpshooters JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli, and versatile forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington.

Playing in London the Celtics outscored the 76ers by 20 in the second half including 37-22 in the third quarter. It'll take a complete team effort from the Celtics to compensate for Brown's loss. The 76ers dominated from opening tip and led by 18 going into the fourth. Al Horford added 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kyrie Irving didn't play. He did miss one of their games, but the Celtics effectively shut him down in two of their wins, and that needs to be the priority for this series. "But certainly since he's been in this starting role, he's been excellent, and we're going to need him to continue to be". Then there was rookie Semi Ojeleye, who made things hard late in the series for Antetokounmpo.


Stevens said Sunday that Brown still has some soreness but testing results "looked good" and Brown could play early in the series.

Celtics' Marcus Smart, $6,800: Smart hasn't gotten his shooting back since returning from injury, going just 6-of-23 from the field and 0-of-8 from 3-point land.

After finishing the regular season on fire, then cruising to a 4-1 series in over the Heat in the first round, the 76ers had plenty of reason to be confident heading into their second-round series with the Celtics - especially considering how shorthanded Boston was.

If Brown can come back in Game 2 and play at the level head coach Brad Stevens has grown accustomed to, Boston could put the upstart Sixers in an even deeper hole. Jaylen Brown is one possibility.

With him out the Celtics will need big contributions from Horford and Tatum but even that might not be enough. Given Simmons ability to get in the paint and Embiid's prowess on the boards, Aron Baynes and Greg Monroe ability to challenge at the rim and contain Embiid are critical. The problem is Horford can not do it on his own and you also have to think about the other shooters the 76ers have playing alongside Embiid, some of which were not on the team when they played in the regular season.

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