Sixers Wing Starting to ‘Fear’ Hated Eastern Conference Rival

Danny Green, Sixers

Getty Danny Green, Sixers

There are only 10 games remaining in the NBA regular season. Not a lot of time, but plenty for a “sleeper” team to shake up the Eastern Conference standings.

The squad best fitted to wear that crown appears to be the Boston Celtics. Jayson Tatum has risen up as a dark-horse MVP candidate while leading his team to an 11-2 record since the All-Star break. No one wants to see the Celtics (45-28) in the playoffs, a reality starting to set in around the league.

Danny Green saw it up-close when his Philadelphia 76ers took a 48-point thumping to Boston back on February 15. He called the Celtics “one of the teams to fear” on his “Inside The Green Room” podcast, adding that they could win the East outright.

“Boston has been hooping. I think they are one of the teams to fear in the East,” Green told co-host Harrison Sanford. “Whenever one of those top teams matches up with them, they’re not in the top three right now, but if any one of us – Miami, Milwaukee, (Philly), Brooklyn – meet with Boston, I think that’s a team that might be the sleeper that comes out or gets to the Eastern Conference Finals.”

Green, a three-time champion, referenced that 135-87 loss on Philly’s homecourt when making his comments. Keep in mind: that was before James Harden was a Sixer. Still, the Celtics are quickly gaining respect as a team to be reckoned with. They currently hold the No. 4 seed, with the Sixers (44-26) at No. 3.

“We’re still figuring it out, other teams are figuring it out and waiting to see if people get healthy,” Green said, “but I do think Boston is one of the sleeper teams that could sneak into the Eastern Conference Finals if not the Finals.”

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Sixers-Celtics Rivalry One of NBA’s Fiercest

Doc Rivers told a story a few weeks ago about legendary Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn giving him a hard time following a loss to Philadelphia when Rivers was coaching Boston.

“We played a game when I was in Boston, we were terrible,” Rivers said prior to the Nets-Sixers game on March 10. “Tommy Heinsohn almost killed me when we lost to the Sixers, so I know that’s a rivalry.”

The Sixers-Celtics rivalry is a fierce one, best illustrated by an epic fight between Larry Bird and Julius Erving in 1984. Yes, that is most definitely a rivalry.

Shake Milton Endorses Joel Embiid for MVP

It’s probably too late for Tatum to steal the MVP award away from Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic. Those two have been leading the race from wire to wire, with a little Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry sprinkled in.

Embiid should win it. He’s set to play in the most regular-season games of his career this season. Not only that, but Embiid’s growth as a teammate and leader has been a key to the Sixers’ success.

“I just think he’s grown just with his demeanor regarding his teammates – the way he interacts with us now,” Shake Milton said. “I’ve just definitely – it’s crazy, I’ve seen the growth, too. He’s got to be MVP. I’ve seen it, for four years. It’s just been a crazy evolution of his game and just his leadership in the locker room, too.”

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