The Boston Celtics certainly caught a lucky break when the No. 8 seed Philadelphia 76ers knocked off the No. 1 seed Chicago Bulls. The injury to Bulls' superstar Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah played a part, but Chicago remains a very skilled team even in their absence. Philadelphia proved they are a team to be taken seriously in the playoffs and the Celtics will need to do just that.
While the home court rests in favor of the Celtics, the 76ers have the emotional advantage of defeating the Bulls. It is business as usual for Boston while Philadelphia is relishing in a successful season.
What will be most important in this game and this series is to focus on the task at hand. They cannot think about a potential matchup with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami still has to make it through the Indiana Pacers for that matter. One game at a time and 12 more victories is all that stands in the way of an NBA Championship.
Boston comes into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semis finishing the regular season with a 39-27 record and was 24-9 on their home court this year. They defeated the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Quarters in six games.
Philadelphia enters the matchup having finished the season with a 35-31 record and was 16-17 on the road this year. They defeated the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Quarters in six games.
The playoff series:
The playoff series is currently tied at 0-0.
Where to watch:
The game can be watched live nationwide on TNT.
The playoff statistic leaders:
Boston: Paul Pierce- 21.2 points per game, Rajon Rondo- 11.8 assists per game, Kevin Garnett- 10.5 rebounds per game.
Philadelphia: Jrue Holiday- 18.2 points per game, Jrue Holiday- 4.7 assists per game, Spencer Hawes- 8.0 rebounds per game.
Injuries to note:
Boston: Chris Wilcox (aortic abnormality), Jeff Green (aortic aneurysm).
Philadelphia: No significant injuries
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All data provided by NBA.com