The Boston Celtics are already preparing for their next battle even after a well-deserved break because of sweeping the 76ers.
The Celtics are fighting. No. They are thriving. Just look at the way they dismantled an Eastern superpower of the Philadelphia 76ers. The Cs looked poised and ready for whatever the Sixers gave them. Outside of Joel Embiid, the entire roster looked like second-string players that do not belong in the Playoffs.
It is particularly true for Tobias Harris and Al Horford. These two players collected their hefty payday from the Sixers but failed to show up when they were needed the most. As such, Embiid suffered. He devastatingly fought the Celtics by himself en route to a four-game sweep.
Despite such a strong feat, the Celtics are not yet celebrating. They know what’s ahead of them, and they can’t just rest on a lofty idea of their recent successes.
Boston Celtics will be tested by the Toronto Raptors
Up next after the tussle with the 76ers is the Toronto Raptors. Make no mistake, the Raptors are still strong even if Kawhi Leonard is no longer on the team. Just last week, Nick Nurse was awarded the Coach of the Year trophy because of a stellar job. Similar to last year, they were flying under the radar for the NBA championship.
However, lo and behold, they dismantled the Golden State Warriors towards the franchise’s first-ever championship. The entire Boston Celtics team knows this. They know what they are up against. As such, they have to go back to their drawing board to prepare. Kemba Walker said,
“The work’s not done. We won the series, but we’re still looking forward to some more tough ones.”
A chess match between Nurse and Stevens
Both the Celtics and the Raptors are deep teams. They pride themselves with a roster that can contribute from the starting five all the way to the last man on the bench. Therefore, Nick Nurse and Brad Stevens will have to predict each other’s moves and switches. One wrong move could spell the disaster for their teams.
In other words, the series between the Raptors and the Celtics may boil down to what their benches can bring to the table. Of course, the usual is expected of the stars like Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. However, it will be the entire team’s contribution that will matter greatly.
The Celtics and the Raptors start the second round of the Playoffs on August 27.
Image from Boston Celtics/ YouTube thumbnail