The purpose of the Sixers signing Al Horford last offseason was to boost their chances versus the top teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  The Sixers won more games this season versus the top four teams in this year's playoffs (6) compared to last season (5) while the team was number one in the NBA in Defense Against Three Point Shooting along with Top Ten in Points Per Game Allowed, Steals Per Game, and Blocks Per Game.  The 76ers finished the season 3-1 versus Al Horford's former team the Boston Celtics; the last time Philadelphia had a 3-1 record versus Boston in the regular season was the 2013-14 season.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Sixers Analyst Marc Jackson joined The Sports Bash on Thursday with his perspective on the 76ers matchup with the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs:

"I prefer to see Boston (Celtics) than see the (Miami) Heat or Toronto (Raptors); One thing that plays in (the Sixers) favor - Boston Celtics had a guy that gave Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons (issues) and that's Al Horford.  With Al Horford in a 76ers uniform, I think that helps and moves the needle their way....I really believe Joel Embiid is going to have his way and Joel Embiid is going to bear but with that being said, the double teams that will come his way will help make the game a little easier for Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson. - I prefer to be facing that young Boston Celtics team than that Miami Heat or Kyle Lowry led Toronto Raptors team....(Celtics' match-up) will benefit the Sixers that the game might slow down a little, overall I think it is going to benefit Joel Embiid."

Hear what Jackson had to say about how the Sixers will defend in the playoffs without Ben Simmons, expectations for the 76ers' bench versus the Celtics, what the future holds for Brett Brown, along with impressions of how Embiid and Horford play together without Simmons on the court.