2023 NBA Playoffs: The Philadelphia-Boston Connection


The battle between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics really had everything. Game-winning shot? Check. Game-winning shot part two? Check. Blowout game? Check. Overtime Game? Check. Game 7? Check. The excitement was more than enough, and maybe it was something that we should have expected. After all, it was a series that featured two of the top three teams in the East.

We can even add something else to this series, and that would be reunions. Several members of Boston’s squad and Philadelphia’s team should be familiar with one another. Let us see how “intertwined” they are.

The Head Coach

The first person that comes to mind in this series will be Doc Rivers. Boston should know him since he was responsible for bringing the city’s most recent NBA trophy. When Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen won the title in 2008, Rivers was the man behind that trio. His guidance and gritty voice were enough for the Celtics to topple the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Assistants

Sam Cassell, assistant coach for the Sixers, was a part of Boston’s bench when the Celtics won it all in 2008. That was ring number three for Cassell since he had already won two when he played for the Houston Rockets early in his career. Another assistant, Jamie Young, can also be connected to the Celtics. Young’s career actually started in Boston, where he was a video coordinator and scout before reaching assistant status.

The Ex-Sixers

Mike Muscala played for the Sixers during the 2018-2019 NBA season, while Al Horford became a Sixer one season after Muscala left. Muscala and Horford did not have long stints with the team during their time in the city of Philadelphia, but it must have been a relief for both of them to eliminate their former team from Playoff contention.

Representing the Clippers

Fans of the Los Angeles Clippers must have felt nostalgic if ever they followed the games. It is because at least seven people in this series used to work for the Clippers, with Blake Griffin being the most famous one. Griffin brought the Clippers to new heights in terms of popularity with all his highlight dunks during the “Lob City” era.

Other people connected to L.A.’s second team would be coach Rivers, assistant Cassell, Tobias Harris, and Montrezl Harrell. From Boston’s side, you can add Danilo Gallinari, who played for the Clippers for two seasons. If we want to squeeze one more name here, we might as well add Muscala. Muscala, because of a trade, was a Clipper but only for a day.

The Transaction

Danny Ainge should be credited for how strong the Celtics are today. Remember, he was the man with the plan when it came to drafting their current team leader. Back in 2017, the Celtics had the Number 1 pick, but they traded that pick to the Sixers. The Sixers would use that pick to select Markelle Fultz. What about the Celtics? Well, they used the third pick to draft a franchise player named Jayson Tatum.

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