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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Joel Embiid says 76ers studied history of rivalry with Celtics

Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are two of the best young teams in basketball, and Joel Embiid says they are hoping to rekindle a decades-old rivalry when their playoff series begins on Monday night.

Back in the 1960s, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell used to battle it out in the postseason on an annual basis. Boston typically got the best of Philly, but Wilt’s 76ers snapped a streak of eight straight championships for the Celtics in 1967. Then in the 1980s, Larry Bird and Julius Erving picked things up again when their teams squared off in the Eastern Conference Finals three straight years.

On Monday, Embiid told reporters that he and his teammates have watched some film to learn more about the history of the two franchises, and they would like to renew the rivalry.

The Celtics, of course, are at less than full strength. They were able to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games despite not having Kyrie Irving, and head coach Brad Stevens always seems to keep his team competitive even when the injuries pile up. But now that the 76ers have one of their biggest fans out of prison and ready to cheer on the team, Boston could be facing too tall of a task.

When you look at their respective rosters, it would not be surprising if the Celtics and 76ers meet many more times in the playoffs.

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