Rivers: Avoiding turnovers will be key vs. 76ers

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Rivers: Avoiding turnovers will be key vs. 76ers

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."

Thomas (hip) feeling better, but still no determination on surgery

Thomas (hip) feeling better, but still no determination on surgery

BOSTON –  Brad Stevens said Isaiah Thomas (hip) is feeling better, but no decision has been made on whether the two-time All-Star will have surgery.

“He’s doing some rehab work out there with his people in Seattle,” Stevens told a pool reporter during Thursday night’s NBA draft. “He’s getting ready to host his Zeke-end (basketball tournament), which is a big deal for him.”

Thomas, who led all players in the Eastern Conference with a 28.9 points per game average, suffered a right hip injury in Boston’s second-round series against Washington but continued to play through it.

However, the injury only worsened and ultimately led to him being unable to return in the second half of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland which ended in five games.

Stevens said no decision has made yet as to whether Thomas will require surgery.

“He has his follow-up appointment here in a couple of weeks to determine next course of action,” Stevens said. “And nothing’s determined after that. He hasn’t done a lot, physically, and will be off his feet until that next appointment, or won’t be doing any basketball.”