Doc Rivers, Sixers react to having to face Celtics in East semifinals
CAMDEN, N.J.–The Philadelphia 76ers got back to work on Saturday afternoon with an opponent in front of them: the Boston Celtics.
After the Sixers swept the Brooklyn Nets back on April 22, they have continued to practice and get some work in, but now they have an opponent in front of them and know what to prepare for. The Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks 4-2 in their first round series.
In their four matchups in the regular season, Boston walked away victorious three of those times. The Sixers will be looking to turn things around in this playoff series despite the fact that Joel Embiid is doubtful to be ready for Game 1 on Monday.
Coach Doc Rivers and the rest of the team reacted and gave their thoughts on facing this Celtics team.
Rivers on the Celtics
“A lot of things. They’re a terrific team, they’re well-coached, they spread the floor, they attack, they’re deep. They have a lot of weapons. Obviously, (Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown, but (Al) Horford, (Derrick) White, (Malcolm) Brogdon, you can just keep going down the list and they just have a lot of guys that can play basketball. And like I’ve said with other teams, they’re made. They’ve been to the finals. They get it. They’ve been through any type of adversity. Nothing’s going to shake them and you got to be ready for that.”
PJ Tucker's thoughts on facing the Celtics
“We’ve been battling them all year. We’ve had really good games every single contest. Just know it’s gonna be one of those series that’s gonna be physical and they’re gonna come out and come at us so we got to be ready.”
Tucker on taking anything away from the regular season matchups with Boston
“We just know what kind of games it’s gonna be. Each game is gonna be different. Gotta take it one game at a time. All that cliche stuff to say, but we just gotta be ready to play.”
Rivers on the regular season matchups with the Celtics
“You can take a lot, but it’s still going to be different. How we scored, you can take some of that. How they defended us, you can take some of that. How they trapped us. Really, when we’re looking at teams, it’s how they guard Joel, how they guard James (Harden), and then defensively is the area we clearly have to improve in. You can’t lose guys. There’s at least one game that I see, probably two, where they got shots in transition that they shouldn’t have had and so you got to take that away. We can’t let him score in the first 10 seconds.”
Paul Reed on what he sees from the Celtics
“Something that we’ve been realizing is they like to switch a lot. Sometimes they be trying to keep dudes out of coverage, kind of trying to hide dudes so they don’t have to guard the pick-and-roll, and that’s one of the more interesting things that I’ve been seeing.”