Pregame Post-Ups: C's Eyeing 4-0 Sweep vs. 76ers
Sunday, March 19 - Celtics at 76ers
Pregame – C's Eyeing 4-0 Sweep vs. 76ers
PHILADELPHIA – All three matchups between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers this season have come down to the wire.
There’s no reason to believe the circumstances will be any different when they face off this afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.
Boston has managed to win all three contests against Philly, but each one has been decided by eight or fewer points.
The Celtics, without star point guard Isaiah Thomas (knee injury), will have to tighten up their game this afternoon as they aim to sweep the season series.
The 76ers, meanwhile, will look to feed off of Friday’s 42-point win over the Dallas Mavericks as they look to capture their third win in four games.
“[Philadelphia] has played exceptionally well,” C’s coach Brad Stevens said ahead of the 1 p.m. tip-off. “They’re organized on both ends and extremely active defensively. They turned us over left and right in the three games, and at least two of the three I feel very fortunate to have won because I think they outplayed us for the majority of the game. This is a hard team to play against.”
Boston was very lucky to come away with a win during the teams’ first matchup on Dec. 3 in Philadelphia. The 76ers missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, allowing the C’s to walk away with a 107-106 win.
The Celtics won the next two contests at TD Garden with a 110-106 win on Jan. 6, followed by a 116-108 win on Feb. 15 just ahead of the All-Star break.
Philadelphia’s rotation will look a bit different this afternoon, however, because of a couple of mid-season trades. Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova are no longer in the picture for the 76ers after being dealt away at the deadline to Dallas and Atlanta, respectively.
The C’s also won’t have to deal with Joel Embiid, who suffered a partially torn meniscus in his left knee.
Even without those three significant contributors, Philadelphia should still be able to put up another fight against the Celtics this afternoon. Its aggressive offense and ability to force turnovers has hurt Boston in the past, so the C’s will have to be on their toes once again as they look for the 4-0 season series sweep.
- Taylor C. Snow