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Celtics coach Brad Stevens on the Sixers: ‘They are the most talented team I have seen’

What the Boston Celtics are saying before tonight's opener with the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving, center, and coach Brad Stevens, left,  walk the court for a timeout after Jimmy Butler scored a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game on March 20 in Philadelphia. The Celtics lost 115-118.
Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving, center, and coach Brad Stevens, left, walk the court for a timeout after Jimmy Butler scored a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game on March 20 in Philadelphia. The Celtics lost 115-118.Read moreMatt Slocum / AP

Celtics coach Brad Stevens threw a major bouquet the 76ers way when talking about them at this morning’s shootaround leading up to tonight’s opener at the Wells Fargo Center.

“I said they are the most talented team I have seen,” Stevens said before his Celtics went through their morning shootaround. “I didn’t stay up to watch the game last night.”

He was referring to the Los Angeles Clippers 112-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I am not trying to compare teams,” Stevens continued. “They are certainly body for body, pound for pound, as talented as I have seen.”

Playing a little gamesmanship, Stevens wasn’t ready to announce his starting lineup.

“I think I have to announce it 30 minutes before, so I will do that” he said.

Then, in a less than believable statement, he added: “I don’t know who is going to start. We haven’t had enough time to think about it.”

That last sentence drew chuckles from assorted media members.

Newcomer Kemba Walker will be at point guard, and the forwards are young standouts Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Daniel Theis is a possibility at center and one question will be whether to start Marcus Smart or Gordon Hayward at shooting guard. Smart was a first-team selection on the all-NBA defensive team last year, while Hayward gives the Celtics a perimeter threat.

The only players out for the Celtics are rookies Taco Fall and Romeo Langford. The Sixers have nobody on their injury report.

At least there will be no suspense concerning the Sixers starters. Ben Simmons, who was at the Wells Fargo Center working out before the Celtics came, and Josh Richardson are in the Sixers backcourt with Joel Embiid at center and former Celtic Al Horford and Tobias Harris at forwards.

The Sixers didn’t have a scheduled morning shootaround.