It is always exciting to see a divisional matchup. For much of the season, the Boston team full of age and experience struggled while the youthful 76ers took control of the division. By the end of the year, however, experience persevered through adversity and received a higher seeding than the younger Philadelphia team.
Philadelphia, although playing very well in the opening round, caught what most would consider a lucky break. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah both found themselves injured, and the top-seeded Chicago Bulls were left fighting without the heart and soul of their team. With Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes leading the way, Philadelphia defeated the Bulls 4-2 in the series.
As for the Celtics, Kevin Garnett was simply outstanding. He led the team in points, rebounds and blocks throughout the series, defying age and playing a major role in defeating the seemingly lifeless Atlanta Hawks 4-2 in the series.
In the three games these two teams played against each other, Philadelphia came out victorious in two. The one game they lost, however, was in early April as the season ended, and the Celtics were surging with momentum.
Rajon Rondo has been precise with his passing, leading the Celtics in assist and Paul Pierce has led in scoring with 17.7 points per game versus the 76ers. Philadelphia has been led by Elton Brand against Boston, despite only playing 21 minutes per game.
The key in this matchup will be simple: Can Philadelphia contain Garnett?