So, way back in early November I wrote a little something called "There Are Only Three Eastern Conference Teams That Pose a True Threat to the Boston Celtics". In that article, I claimed that the Raptors, Bucks, and Pacers* were the ONLY three teams the Celtics had to worry about in the Eastern Conference. Well, the Sixers have made some moves... do I still feel the same way?
Since that article, the Sixers have acquired a couple big names in Jimmy Butler, now more recently Tobias Harris. I will admit, this Sixers team is a lot more star-studded than when I published the previous article a few months back. They essentially have a possible "Big Four" now, but beyond that it's slim pickins.
So back to the question... Do I still feel like the Sixers are a non-threatening team?
First off, let me make it very clear, the Celtics OWN the Sixers. Now granted, they have not met since the Harris trade, but I still feel like "I'll believe it when I see it" in terms of if the Sixers are even a worthy opponent.
The Sixers have the star-studded cast, I recognize that.. but beyond the starters they have really no true talent. That starting lineup is shiny and sparkly, but starters don't play 48 minutes...
Dating back to 2014, the Celtics are 16-2 vs the Sixers in the regular season... more recently, last season and this season so far (up until the Christmas Day game) they are 5-1. Again the Celtics OWN the Sixers. They also haven't lost a playoff series to Philly in 37 years. Again more recently, they played in the 2018 playoffs and beat down the Sixers 4-1.
I do want to be clear, I am not really talking about talent or match ups here. What I am talking about is just the simple fact that the Celtics are the Alpha in their relationship with the Sixers. It is like a big brother-little brother ordeal. That little brother may get better over time, but he just can't seem to get better than big bro...
*PS: What I will say, is that the Pacers are probably off my list now. Given Oladipo's injury, I just can't see them posing any threat to Boston