The NBA announced the times and TV information for the first four games of the Eastern Conference semifinal round between the Sixers and the Celtics.
The series begins Monday in Boston. Game 1 tips at 8 p.m. on TNT. Game 2 is an even later start, tipping at 8:30 p.m., also on TNT.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) April 29, 2018
Game 3 brings the teams back to Philadelphia for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday, which means halftime might coincide with the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Sunday that Jaylen Brown would likely miss Game 1 of this second-round series due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the Celtics’ series-clinching Game 7 against Milwaukee on Saturday.
The Sixers, of course, have had an extended break after finishing off the Miami Heat on April 24. That doesn’t mean they’ve been relaxing, however: Brett Brown and his assistants have been trying to develop a game plan. Lucky for them, they don’t have to plan around Kyrie Irving’s dynamic scoring – he was averaging 25.7 points per game vs. the Sixers in four games during the regular season. But he’s out after undergoing season-ending knee surgery last month. Without that scoring, the Celtics will undoubtedly try to slow the game just like the Sixers did in the series against Miami.
By the time the series tips Monday, the Sixers will have had nearly a week to rest after closing out the first-round series in five games. And that might end up being their greatest advantage. In the last 10 years, teams that needed seven games to get through Round 1 are just 5-11 in the next series.