A look at how the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers match up in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
2. BOSTON (55-27): Home 27-14; road 28-13
Defeated Milwaukee 4-3 in the first round.
3. PHILADLEPHIA (52-30): Home 30-11; road 22-19
Defeated Miami 4-1 in the first round.
Season series: Celtics 3-1.
Key stats: Philadelphia and Boston ranked first and second in opponent field-goal percentage. … Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid shot 38.5% against Boston. … Al Horford, in his 10th postseason, shot 58.8% in the first round.
Outlook: The East’s future might lie in this series, although it will evolve with the 76ers youngsters and the Celtics without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Boston likely will also open the series without Jaylen Brown (hamstring), its top first-round scorer at 17.9 points per game. The Celtics offense could struggle without him against the size of an Embiid-led defense. Embiid was rusty in three first-round games after sitting out 10 games because of a broken orbital bone. Philadelphia’s 6-foot-10 point guard Ben Simmons struggled against Boston this season but the teams have not met since Jan. 18 and the 76ers’ uptempo offense plays differently with bench additions Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, who combined for 27.4 points in the first round. Philadelphia has won 20 of its last 21 games and is more rested.
Coro’s prediction: 76ers in six games.