Celtics may have very interesting first-round matchup in proposed format

Rob Bradford
May 26, 2020 - 7:19 am

Talk about jumping right back into things.

According to ESPN.com, the NBA has a proposal on the table that would implement a 16-team playoff right out of the gate upon the league's return. The teams would not be broken up into conferences and each series would be a best-of-seven format.

That scenario hands the Celtics a No. 5 seed. Their opponent? No. 12 Philadelphia.

Of all the matchups this one might be the most intriguing considering what the Sixers represent -- an immensely talented team that underachieved for most of the 2019-20 season.

In the four meetings between the teams the Celtics only won once.

One piece of the puzzle that should be factored in is that with no fans neither team will have a home-court advantage, which had been a huge element for the Sixers who held a 29-2 record in Philly while going just 10-24 on the road.

Joel Embiid had been leading the Sixers statistically, averaging 23.4 and 11.8 rebounds over 44 games, with former Celtics center Al Horford totaling 12 points and 6.9 rebounds a contest. Tobias Harris (19.4 points per game) and Ben Simmons (16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds per game) were also having solid seasons.

Here would be the other matchups if the NBA chooses to go with this format:

Bucks (1) vs. Magic (16)
Heat (8) vs. Thunder (9)

Lakers (2) vs. Nets (15)
Jazz (7) vs. Rockets (10)

Raptors (3) vs. Grizzlies (14)
Nuggets (6) vs. Pacers (11)

Clippers (4) vs. Mavericks (13)