The Philadelphia 76ers will be in Boston to face the Celtics for an exciting battle of Atlantic Division teams. The Celtics have won their last few games to get back to .500, while Philly has seen their record shift to 34-16 in a tight battle with the Nets for the top seed in the conference. The goal will be to win that battle and secure home court.
Had Philly had home court in 2019, perhaps they could have won that seventh game against the Raptors. Kawhi Leonard got his crazy bounce, and the series concluded right then and there, no overtime to finish the seventh game.
It left Joel Embiid in tears, and the team has been trying to recover ever since it happened. That was their year to possibly win the conference.
Boston, meanwhile, will hope to find their way into a top-six seed. The 7-10 seeds in the East will all go head-to-head, with two winners standing. The other two find themselves at home a little earlier than expected.
Put pretty simply, the more games the Celtics can win, the better. They are pretty much at full strength now, with Romeo Langford finally debuting. Time to win again.
The visiting 76ers are favored by -1.5. The over/under is set at 222.5 points.
Philly Seeking Road Win
Before the bubble, the 2019-20 76ers were unbeatable at home. They lost just two games in Philly and made teams feel their presence when they came to visit.
But when they went on the road, they had twice as many losses as wins, unable to figure out any successful recipe. The good news is, that isn’t a problem this year.
The 76ers have been able to win big games in buildings all over the league. With Embiid back in the fray, they are at full strength again.
Ben Simmons scoring continues to go up and down, which is an issue when Tobias Harris isn’t holding it down. This is a team with a big three, and then there’s everybody else. They’ll win when Simmons and Harris both shine.
Look for Danny Green and Seth Curry to be the difference-makers with their threes and defense.
Celtics Seek Upset at Home
It would not come as a shock if the Celtics lost this game. The same is true of if they get the win.
When a team plays .500 ball all season, you never know what to expect each night. It means that they meet expectations from time to time but also blow games they are supposed to win outright.
It would be an upset because they are obviously the underdogs. Robert Williams III will have a real test with Embiid, and it will be a fun battle to watch unfold.
No player in the 76ers lineup has an easy task when Boston is at full health. If anything, they’ll prefer Marcus Smart jacking up threes as the primary strategy for the offense. And when he hits, Boston is OK with it.
Surprise! Celtics Win
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will go off to guide Boston to the upset over their divisional rivals.
FREE PLAY: BOSTON +1.5
OVER/UNDER: OVER 222.5
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