The No. 2 Boston Celtics will meet the No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs. This is a familiar matchup for the division rivals, who will be facing off for the third time in the last six postseasons. The Celtics have won both previous series by convincing margins, but the 76ers believe this is their year to make a run.
Boston felt it had the first-round series against the Hawks in the bag in Game 5, but Trae Young’s late triple pushed the Celtics to Game 6. Boston did take care of business on the road and now gets to face a familiar foe. The Celtics must feel their path to return to the NBA Finals has cleared up a bit with the Bucks being eliminated, and now the focus will be on taking out the other top contender in the East.
The 76ers swept the Nets in the first round in what seemed to be a statement of intent. Joel Embiid’s knee injury from Game 3 appears to be a thing of the past, as the additional game for Celtics-Hawks gave him a few more days to recover. Embiid is expected to be ready for Game 1. With James Harden and Tyrese Maxey both firing, the 76ers believe they can finally flip the script on the Celtics in the playoffs.