The status of the 2019-2020 NBA Season remains up in the air. While the league is still making an apparent effort to save the season, there's still a chance the COVID-19 pandemic could prevent the Philadelphia 76ers from finding closure this year.
Right now, though, the 76ers haven't given up hope. And every day, the team's staff and players are making sure they are prepared to compete if and when the NBA finds a resolution.
Many believe that if the season gets back into action, there's a good chance the remainder of the regular season schedule is wiped out, and we'd skip straight to the postseason. If that's the case, the sixth-seeded 76ers would have to face the third-seeded, Boston Celtics.
While that scenario won't be confirmed for some time, the 76ers are preparing as if that would be the case, according to Sixers' General Manager, Elton Brand. "We're talking about the Celtics as if they could be an opponent," Brand mentioned on Tuesday morning.
"Brett and the staff have also prepared for other teams in case there is a regular season and the odds change. We've done deep dives. As a fan, I would love to see this team in the playoffs. I've said it many times, [the playoffs] is what we are built for, and I want to see that. We are preparing as if we are going to the playoffs and playing the Celtics."
Even though the Sixers would be considered underdogs against the Celtics in the playoffs, Philly would probably feel confident knowing they've defeated Boston three out of four times this season. On the flip side, however, the last meeting between Boston and Philly wasn't so favorable for the Sixers.
Although they were at full-strength back in early February, the Sixers were destroyed in Boston 116-95. A 76ers versus Celtics playoff series in the first round isn't an ideal scenario for Philly, but they might not have a say in the matter anymore if the NBA skips straight to playoffs. Therefore, Philly's staff continues to prepare for Boston.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_