NBA Playoffs: Everything you need to know about Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

The third seed Boston Celtics will be facing off against the sixth seed Philadelphia 76ers. Here’s everything you need to know heading into the series

Locked into the sixth seed, the Philadelphia 76ers will be facing off against the third seed Boston Celtics, with round one of the NBA Playoffs scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 17th. You can catch game one of the 76ers versus Celtics series live on ESPN at 6:30 pm EST.

The Celtics and the 76ers hold the NBA record for most playoff series played between two franchises with 20. As the Celtics sit comfortably in the lead in the rivalry with a 13-7 record in those playoffs series, they are looking to make that record 14-7 against the Ben Simmons-less 76ers.

The 76ers were already at a disadvantage going into the Orlando bubble, with every game technically being a road game. Of all 22 teams to enter the bubble, only the Washington Wizards (9-27) have a worse road record than the Philadelphia 76ers (11-26).

Philly is without Simmons for the rest of the season after he suffered a subluxation (partial and temporary dislocation) of his left kneecap in the third quarter against the Wizards. Simmons would ultimately get season-ending surgery to remove a loose body in his knee this past Monday.

To make matters worse for the 76ers, Joel Embiid missed a game against the Phoenix Suns nursing an ankle injury, only to return the next game and leave with a hand injury. He seems to be okay for now, playing 23 minutes in the final seeding game against the Houston Rockets.

The 76ers took the regular-season series 3-1, winning by an average margin of 10.3 points, but they had Ben Simmons for all four matchups. They have been ravaged by the injury bug and have struggled defensively, ranking 19th in the bubble. Entering the playoffs without arguably their best defensive player doesn’t bode well for Philly.

Meanwhile, the Celtics have maintained their health and have looked almost as good defensively in the bubble as they did before the season’s postponement. They rank in the top ten for both offensive (116.7) and defensive rating (108.4). They also boast the second-best net rating (8.3) in the bubble, trailing only the undefeated Phoenix Suns (12.9).

In the Celtics lone win during their regular-season matchups, Kemba Walker did not play due to injury. The Sixers won the one matchup Joel Embiid didn’t play in. Now Ben Simmons is missing in action.

Do the 76ers have what it takes to prove the experts and the skeptics wrong? Or will the Boston Celtics put the wounded animal on the side of the road out of its misery early and fast?