Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers (23-17) take on the Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics (21-21) at 7:00 PM tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The two teams are meeting for the third time this season, with the teams splitting wins in the two games thus far.
The 76ers are coming off a home loss to the upstart Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. The Hornets out hustled the Sixers throughout the entire game while the Sixers seemed to play with a lack of energy. The Sixers were winners of their last seven games prior to Wednesday night’s loss, so let hope that the Sixers can get back to their winning ways. The 76ers continue to deal with injuries and issues with Health and Safety protocols. The Sixers will be without Shake Milton (back), Danny Green (hip), and Ben Simmons (personal) for this matchup with Boston.
The Celtics come into Friday night’s contest winners of three straight including back-to-back wins over the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics are looking to get back on track as they have had a rocky start to their season so far. They have hovered around and below .500 for most of the season due to injuries and chemistry issues. Starting guard Marcus Smart is questionable for the game due to health in safety protocols.
*UPDATE* Marcus Smart has been downgraded from questionable to out.
Take a look at some things to watch for tonight:
Joel Embiid has returned to MVP form and has essentially put this team on his back to lead them to wins. Last game he tied Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson with 8 straight games of at least 30-points. Tonight, he has a chance to own the franchise record all to himself. He has dominated offensively with his scoring and increased playmaking. He also has been more active controlling the paint on defense. The Sixers will need Embiid to hit the 30-point mark for a ninth time in a row in order to beat a solid Celtics team who are hungry to continue their winning streak.
Tobias Harris has had what seems like a rough month. He hasn’t really played well since returning from Health and Safety protocols earlier this season. Not only that but it has been revealed that he is playing with a nagging shoulder injury which also seems like it is affecting his performance.
Harris has also been mentioned in trade rumors this week and that is something that can definitely affect how a player plays. Harris needs a good performance to help Embiid battle Boston’s two All-Stars. Side note to the fans: Stop booing the man, we get it, he’s played bad but it’s old and annoying now.
It seems like every time one of either Tyrese Maxey or Seth Curry is out, it takes a while for them to get back into sync on the offensive end. Maxey returned from a stint in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols and Seth Curry only took 7 shots and only took 2 shots in the first half. Doc Rivers and the coaching staff needs to find a way to be more balanced for each player on offense. They both played well together in their win against Brooklyn and should hope for similar play going forward.
You can catch all the action tonight on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live at 97.5 FM The Fanatic.