BOSTON For a while now, the Celtics have known the likelihood of facing the Sixers in the second round was pretty good.
While the C's will certainly spend the next couple of days preparing for Saturday's Game 1 matchup, coach Doc Rivers already has a good idea of what his team will need to do in order to advance to the Conference Finals.
"I can tell you the key to the series right now is we can't turn the ball over," Rivers said. "If you do, it's a guaranteed basket for them. So we know that's one of the keys going into it."
The Sixers average 17.8 points off turnovers in the playoffs, which ranks fifth. Of the four teams ranked ahead of them, only one Memphis has yet to move on to the next round of the playoffs.
Philadelphia's athleticism will also be a major concern for the Celtics, who dropped two of their three games to the Sixers this season.
"We've got a bunch of gazelles coming in here," Rivers said. "They only beat us by 1,000 in two our three games."
Rivers was hoping that the Celtics would have a little more time to rest before beginning their next series.
But after Thursday's down-to-the-wire, series-clinching 8380 win over the Hawks, he's not complaining.
"It's a short turnaround," Rivers said. "But it is what it is. I'd rather be going to Game 1 here than Game 7 in Atlanta."