3 potential first-round playoff matchups we want to see

Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Eastern Conference Finals, NBA Draft, James Wiseman, Onyeka Okongwu

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Last season in the NBA Bubble, the Boston Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first-round of the playoffs, sending Joel Embiid and co. to Cancun earlier than they had liked. Now, this could be the 76ers year to send the Celtics packing in the first-round of the playoffs!

The 76ers have been one of the most dominant teams in the league all season long in large part because of Joel Embiid emerging as a true MVP candidate. There has been no stopping him this year and while he has missed a total of 19 games this season, he still ranks 7th in the league for the most 30+ point games this season and ranks first in the league in Player Efficiency Rating. 

Embiid has been having one of the best offensive seasons by a center probably since Shaquille O’Neal during the 2002-03 season and if he can remain healthy and on the court, the 76ers have their best chance to make it back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2001. 

READ MORE: Ranking the top candidates to win 2020-21 NBA MVP as of now

On the other side of things, this season has been a complete mess for the Boston Celtics, however, they are getting hot at the right time, more specifically – Jayson Tatum is getting hot at the right time. The Celtics have won 9 of their last 13 games and Tatum had a special month of April. 

He finished the month averaging 29.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and shooting 47.9% from the floor, 41.5% from three-point range, but it was the way that he ended the month that has everyone talking. Earlier in the month against the Timberwolves, tatum dropped a career-high 53 points in a thrilling 145-136 OT win, but in their final game of the month against the San Antonio Spurs, Tatum dropped a new career-high 60 points, leading the Celtics to an overtime victory after trailing the Spurs by as many as 32-points! 

Jayson Tatum tied Larry Bird’s record for the Most Points Scored in a Game by a Celtics player with 60 points and anytime you are being compared to Larry, you are doing something right as a Celtics player! Tatum just cannot seem to miss right now and while they are not getting much production outside of him, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, we could be in store for some special performances by Jayson Tatum in the playoffs this year! 

About Brett Siegel 623 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as a NBA Insider in 2020. For all up-to-date NBA news, stats and info, and any inquiries, be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.

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