The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers are two of the fastest rising teams in the league. Now that LeBron James is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, both teams are expected to engage in a tough battle for Eastern Conference supremacy in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. In the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Celtics showed that they were the better team over the 76ers after beating them in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals despite not having Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on their roster.
Now that both superstars are 100 percent healthy, the Celtics are expected to have an advantage in their upcoming matchups with the 76ers next season. According to MassLive, Jayson Tatum said that, unlike in his rookie season, he no longer feels nervous, especially now that they no longer need to face LeBron James in the Eastern Conference. Tatum worked out with 76ers superstar Joel Embiid and NBA trainer Drew Hanlen this summer. During their time together, Tatum admitted trash talking Embiid, reminding him that they almost swept them last postseason.
The return of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward makes the Celtics the favorite to fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference. However, the 76ers will surely not let them sit on the empty throne without giving them a tough fight, especially with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid continuing to show massive improvement in their game. Jayson Tatum expects some bad blood to exist between the Celtics and the 76ers next season.
“Definitely some animosity,” Tatum said. “We won, so they are probably a little more fired up or angry than we are, but we’re excited to play. We had a lot of good matchups with them last year, a lot of great battles, especially in the playoffs. We’re excited, they’re excited.”
Terry Rozier shared the same sentiment as Jayson Tatum, saying that the trash talk between the Celtics and the 76ers is a good thing. Rozier expects Joel Embiid to continue with his chatter next season and said that they are looking forward to their matchups against the 76ers.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving has only one thing to say about their brewing rivalry with the 76ers. The All-Star point guard said that all he knows is to “destroy” anyone who will be blocking their road to the NBA Finals in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season whether it will be the 76ers, Toronto Raptors, or other NBA teams who are aiming to become the new ruler of the Eastern Conference.