Brad Stevens
Photo: The Athletic

The head coach of the Boston Celtics Brad Stevens is expecting a tough first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Stevens does not underestimate the Sixers and believes Philadelphia is still dangerous even without their star Ben Simmons.

Simmons underwent knee surgery and will remain out of action indefinitely.

The head coach of Boston thinks Joel Embiid could emerge as an even bigger threat in the absence of Simmons.

“Embiid is one of the best bigs in the league. [Al] Horford is tremendous as well. [Tobias] Harris is a big wing, on down the line. They’ve got big long guards. I’ve said this a few times this week.

Simmons is an outstanding player, but without him now they’re posting those guys and they’ve got four shooters around Embiid all the time, makes it extremely difficult to play against.

They’ve played games, especially on that [offensive] end, without Simmons all year. They’re a very, very difficult matchup for anyone and their size creates challenges on both ends of the floor,” he said, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

Game 1 between the Celtics and the Sixers will take place on Monday night.