The Boston Celtics showed their true potential during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, demolishing the Philadelphia 76ers en route to a 112-88 blowout win.

While there were plenty of questions about the first-half offensive struggles of Celtics star Jayson Tatum, he answered every one of them on Sunday afternoon. He led Boston with an insane 51 points, the most in any Game 7 in NBA history. The contest was close in the first half, but Tatum broke the game open in the third quarter and the C's never looked back.

The Celtics will now take on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in the past four seasons. But before we focus on the next matchup, let's delve into Boston's dominant win over Philly with three major takeaways from Game 7.

3. Jayson Tatum plays his best game ever

The Celtics were the better team in the second round, but they didn't always play like it. However, despite their frustrating issues with consistency, they showed up in a big way for Game 7, largely due to Tatum's otherworldly performance.

He dropped 51 points while shooting an impressively efficient 60.7 percent from the field. Plus, he had 13 boards, two steals and zero turnovers. All in all, it was as perfect a game as he could've played.

Additionally, Tatum didn't need the whole half to get it going. He notched 25 points in the first half and set the tone for the Celtics offensively. Once he started to take over the entire game in the third quarter, the Sixers finally started to double him, leading to open shots for his teammates.

If Tatum can exploit double teams and hit his triples consistently as he did in Game 7, Boston will be in a great position for the Conference Finals.

2. How big of a dent did the Celtics make in the Sixers' future?

The Celtics are headed to the third round of the NBA playoffs for the second straight year. Conversely, the Sixers haven't made it that far in over 20 years. This season was one of their best chances to do it, especially when they were up 3-2 in the series with Game 6 in Philadelphia.

Boston's blowout on Sunday may have just disrupted the Sixers' foreseeable future. After a loss like that, it's hard to see head coach Doc Rivers keeping his job. Plus, there have been recent rumblings of James Harden returning to Houston. Since he's a free agent this summer, he might be on the move.

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Sixers MVP Joel Embiid has a much longer deal with the Sixers, and he seems more committed to the city of Philadelphia anyways. However, after getting eliminated by the Celtics for the third time in his career, will he want to stay in Philly for good?

Regardless of what happens in the coming days, the C's have undoubtedly impacted the trajectory of their old rivals.

1. The Celtics' old defense returns

Boston has had its ups and downs on defense. In Game 1, they were getting torched by the Sixers, who happened to be missing Embiid. Then in Game 5, they were giving up a lot of open looks that led to a double-digit loss at home.

Yet, for a decisive Game 7, Boston's defense was sturdy, and somewhat reminiscent of their great defense from last season.

Embiid was locked up on Sunday, as he scored 15 points while going 5-for-18 in over 28 minutes of play. The C's also forced four turnovers off him and made his life as difficult as possible through four quarters:

A lot of credit goes to Celtics veteran Al Horford and former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. They were hounding him all game and rarely letting him get off high-quality shots:

Boston's defense also threw Harden way off his game, as he went 3-for-11 with five turnovers in nearly 41 minutes of play. The C's weren't bailing him out with dumb fouls for a majority of the contest, and Harden sort of started to collapse on his own down the stretch:

With the Sixers out of the way, the Celtics will now face a familiar foe in the Heat. Behind the extremely talented Jimmy Butler, the Heat have much more playoff experience than the Sixers. Yet, the Green Team has been here before, which should make for an entertaining Eastern Conference Finals.