76ers vs. Celtics: Boston may be a bit overconfident about their chances against Philly with series tied at 2-2
As all of us know, the Boston Celtics have had the Philadelphia 76ers number for the entire process era. Whether it was the gentleman’s sweep in 2017, or the demolition of Philadelphia down in the bubble, Boston has every reason to believe they’ll eventually win this Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup – even though the series is currently tied at two-a-piece.
Despite their track record of success against Philly, long-time Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy believes the Celtics may be a bit overconfident about their chances this time around. When speaking with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP’s Morning Show Tuesday, Shaughnessy was transparent with his thoughts on the current state of the Celtics.
Shaughnessy’s outlook for the remainder of this 76ers-Celtics series:
“Everybody here thinks they’re better and there’s a lot of arrogance about it,” he said. “They’ve never won a championship and yet they carry themselves a little lofty, in my view. They’ve got maturity issues and not finishing off. They don’t do well in tight games, get them in a tight game that seems to be a good strategy. But man for man, they’re favorites to win the Finals among the remaining teams still standing. But I think they’re shaken by some of the old stuff that people don’t like.”
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This insight from Shaughnessy shouldn’t surprise anyone in Philadelphia. Boston fans have always carried themselves with a nauseating level of cockiness. It’s no wonder it’s beginning to wear off on some of their teams.
Watching the Celtics throughout this ECSF series, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t take the 76ers seriously, especially in tight games. They’ll take any opportunity they get to celebrate a bucket, regardless of the importance of the shot. Al Horford specifically acts like he just made the game-winning shot to win The Finals every time he makes a three.
Above all else, Boston isn’t playing with any sense of urgency. In the two closest games – Game 1 and 4 – Boston was the team that folded in the end. Until this year, the opposite has been true whenever we’ve watched the Celtics and 76ers face off. Philadelphia has always been the team nobody can trust in crunch time. This year, it’s Boston.
Ironically, the 76ers have proven that they can win tight games this year. They did it all throughout the regular season, and now they’re doing it against the team that’s favored to win the whole thing.
On paper, it’s pretty clear that Boston has the superior roster in this series. For one reason or another, they just can’t seem to figure it out. Perhaps their overconfidence and big brother complex over the 76ers is playing a bigger role than expected.
We’ll see if Shaughnessy’s proclamation continues to be proven right in Game 5 tonight at TD Garden.
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Mandatory Credit: Fox