Game 1 Preview: 76ers at Celtics

Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier and Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe

Only this time, the Celtics will be up against a much tougher opponent and, in fact, a division rival, in the Philadelphia 76ers.

Season series: Celtics, 3-1.

Regardless of the fans and their hashtags, it's players like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Markelle Fultz that make this team so scary to play.

The Philadelphia 76ers will visit the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday, start time at 8:00 PM ET, at TD Garden, Boston, MA.

All that history on the parquet floor.

Check out the full TV schedule for the Sixers vs Celtics series below.

"Dr. J and Larry Bird holding each other's necks", Embiid said, referencing the fight between Bird and Erving during a regular-season game early in the 1984-85 season. Boston was the No. 4 seed in the East while the 76ers - who lucked out in the first round - were the No. 8 seed.

He's not expecting any favors from his hometown crowd.

The first overall pick in the 2016 draft who sat out all of previous year with an injury, Simmons was heckled by the Boston crowd with chants of "Not a Rookie!" I don't know who thought of that, but that was nice.

Brown said after the Celtics' Game 7 victory that trainers believed he had a Grade 1 sprain. They will not have that valued home-court benefit in the best-of-seven ... at least until they win a game in Boston.

Marcus Smart's performance in the Celtics' Game 1 blowout win over the 76ers perfectly embodies his value.

The Sixers have a talented young core led by Embiid, 24, and 21-year-old point guard Ben Simmons.

Sixers coach Brett Brown is familiar with the Philadelphia and Boston matchups of the 1980s, having grown up in South Portland, Maine. "You've got two guys that want to win, two chippy guys". We can't ignore the run the Sixers went on at the end of the year. A guy that's been there my entire life and not really seeing it at its peak. Getting to Game 7 in the first round was a small measure of progress after Milwaukee was eliminated in six games the previous season by Toronto.

They know that transition defense will also be a key against Philadelphia, which was one of the best in the National Basketball Association on the break. Although the Boston Celtics were undermanned, they had the backing of a superior coach and an organizational culture built on stability and empowerment.

"They double from different spots". Embiid was a defensive force against the Heat but his offense was still rusty (although it looked better in Game 5), how big a series the Sixers' center can have also will be key in determining the outcome. "It's been awhile since we played them", Tatum said. He said on Saturday he would be back.

"Whatever it takes, I wouldn't miss this series for the world", Brown said Saturday night. The Celtics are hoping to have guard Jaylen Brown back from a hamstring injury he sustained in the clincher against the Bucks, leaving him sidelined along with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

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