The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are heading in opposite directions at the moment, but both teams are real contenders in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers made some big moves to improve their team at the trade deadline, while the Celtics are sticking with their extremely talented roster. Boston has dominated Philadelphia in recent seasons, winning 16 of the last 18 games.
Boston comes into this game having lost two straight games to the Lakers and Clippers. The Celtics have fallen to 35-21 on the season and are in third place in the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia has won two straight games to move past the Celtics in the division. The Sixers are 36-20 on the season and trail the Raptors by 4.5 games. Philadelphia is -5.0 over Boston in this game.
Sixers Have Complete Roster
The Philadelphia 76ers now have one of the best starting units in the NBA with the addition of Tobias Harris. Harris was leading the Los Angeles Clippers with over 21 points per game and has scored 36 combined points in his first two games with the Sixers. The Sixers are averaging 115.9 points per game so far this season, but that number will likely go up now that Harris is on the team. This trade could shift the balance in this rivalry back to Philadelphia.
Another reason that the Sixers have been on a roll of late is center Joel Embiid. Embiid is scoring more than 27 points per game while also grabbing over 13 rebounds per night. The Celtics are still without their center Aron Baynes, and Embiid should have a huge game in this one. Point guard Ben Simmons is also an All-Star this season, and his eight assists per game paces the Philly offense.
Irving Out on Tuesday Night
The Celtics suffered a huge blow for this game when they announced that Kyrie Irving will be out. Irving has been dealing with a strained right knee, and the team will hold him out for precautionary reasons. The All-Star point guard leads the team with 23.6 points and 6.9 assists per game this season, and the Celtics offense will not be the same without him on the floor.
Boston has a ton of talent on their roster, but they haven’t figured out a way to play together this season. Gordon Hayward was supposed to be a key player with the Celtics, but he is averaging just over 10 points per game this season as he recovers from a gruesome ankle injury. The Celtics are still one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing just over 106 points per game. Boston can defend, but at some point, they are going to have to prove that they can score consistently.
Sixers Win at Home
The Sixers haven’t been able to figure out the Celtics in recent seasons, but that will change in this game. Philadelphia has the best roster in the Eastern Conference, and they can score points in a hurry. The loss of Kyrie Irving will hurt the Celtics, and they won’t have enough offense to keep up. Bet the Philadelphia 76ers -5.0 over the Boston Celtics.