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Sixers fall to Raptors, brace for first-round date with Celtics

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

The hope is that he'll be ready to provide depth in the postseason.

The Sixers hold a 3-1 season-series advantage against the Celtics. Embiid averaged 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 blocks in three games played against the Celtics.

Due to his size, the Sixers match up well against Boston at the center position due to Celtics not having many bigs. Daniel Theis, at 6-foot-8, is the starting center.

However, Horford, a former Celtic, might have a tough time defending their perimeter players. All-Star Jayson Tatum plays power forward in Boston's small lineup. Boston also has advantage at the guard spot, so Embiid may have to play at an MVP level for his team to win.

On Tuesday, the Sixers faced a Raptors team without four of their players and head coach Nick Nurse.

Toronto was without Oshae Brissett (right knee soreness), Patrick McCaw (left knee soreness), OG Anunoby (right knee soreness), and Serge Ibaka (right knee contusion).

Nurse took the night off, as assistant Adrian Griffin coached the Raptors. Nurse was in the arena. With the second seed in the East locked up, this was a good opportunity to give Griffin, a head-coaching candidate, experience.

 

"I think coach (Nurse) is an awesome human being," Griffin said. "He understands that a coach like me that needs some reps in being a head coach. He knows my ambitions. He wants to see me grow as an individual on and off the court. It's an awesome gesture by coach."

Nurse approached Griffin with the idea.

On Friday, the Rockets will be without Russell Westbrook. The point guard underwent an MRI that revealed a strained muscle in his right quadriceps.

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