by Marcel Mutoni

There’s something to be said about a lower seed making statements (often, outlandish ones) to build self-confidence prior to the start of a Playoff series. That is to say, it is usually not the greatest of ideas.

Case in point, the Philadelphia Sixers publicly admitting that they’d much rather face Orlando in the opening round (instead of the Celtics), because it’s a much easier task.

From the Philly Inquirer:

Andre Miller acknowledged that every team in the Eastern Conference wanted to avoid Cleveland, the NBA’s best team, and Boston, the reigning champion…”We just wanted to put ourselves in position where we can try to do something in the playoffs,” Miller said. “Boston is a team that people have in the conference finals. It’s probably easier to go through Orlando than to try and match up with Boston, with Boston coming in with a lot of energy and trying to get through the first round as fast as they can.”

“I agree with ‘Dre,” Thaddeus Young said. “Orlando’s a great team, but we definitely want to play them. Boston is fresh off a championship. That’s the worst thing you can do is go play a team that just won a championship. They’re going to want to get back and be hungry.”

Of course, the über-confident Sixers are 0-3 against Orlando this season. And over on the Orlando side, the late-season injury situation appears to be improving.

The battle begins on Sunday.