Sixers vs Celtics: How to watch, preview & best betting offers

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Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) looks for an opening around Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)

The Philadelphia 76ers are heading up to Boston to take on the Celtics in the third match of the season between the two teams. The Sixers are coming off a 124-114 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night as the team was without center Joel Embiid. The Celtics are at home for their third game in a row, looking for their third win in a row after defeating the Hawks and Bulls earlier this week.

Sixers vs Celtics game info

Who: Philadelphia 76ers (12-6) at Boston Celtics (14-4)
When: 7:30 pm EST
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Watch: ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Boston

Sixers vs Celtics betting info

Spread: Sixers +7 | Celtics -7
Moneyline: Sixers +210 | Celtics -258
Total: O/U 225

What to look for from the Sixers

The Sixers will need to step up to the mark as they look to be without MVP Joel Embiid for this second straight game with an illness. Missing Embiid, who was a last-minute scratch on Wednesday night, the Sixers fell to the Pelicans despite a late-game run.

Tyrese Maxey is playing like an all-star to start the season for the Sixers. He’s stepped up to take over that “second star” role that James Harden held last season. Maxey is averaging 27 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game, statistically the best of his young career. He’s still shooting 39.6% on his three-point attempts despite poor shooting for the past few games.

The Sixers will need more from DeAnthony Melton and Tobias Harris who combined for only 27 points against the Pelicans. Nico Batum, who left the Pelicans game with an injured finger, is listed as probable and will need to be a bigger part of the game plan with Embiid missing against the best team in the East.

The key for the Sixers is to have players like Robert Covington, Paul Reed, Pat Beverly, and the rest of the reserves to play at their best level if they’re to have a chance against the Celtics.

What to look for from the Celtics

The Celtics have won their last two games and are currently tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record in the league and they’re leading the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as they’ve been the past few years.

Tatum, for his part, is having another great season. He currently is averaging 27.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game and is a true star for the team. Brown, the second star on the Celtics is having an equally good season averaging 21.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. Other than the two having a lower three-point percentage, they’re doing everything that they can to keep the Celtics atop the conference.

Sixers
Boston Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis (8) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Celtics will be without center Kristaps Porzingisfor tonights game which leaves Al Horford and Luke Kornet to man the low post against the Sixers. With Embiid out, they’ll have an easier time facing the likes of Paul Reed and Mo Bamba, but those matchups should be a wash as the game will come down to the other spots on the floor.

Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Sam Hauser can be expected to contribute a good amount as the trio is putting together a good season across the board. The trio is averaging around 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists per game which is going to create a bunch of problems for the Sixers defense.

What to expect in Boston

With Joel Embiid, the Sixers would have a chance against the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics but without their MVP center, the Sixers would be way behind. The Celtics are leading the conference and the league for a reason, they’re a great overall team.

Tatum and Brown create problems for almost every opposing team but they should be able to have an even better game knowing that they won’t have to face Embiid in the low post on drives. With Holiday, Hauser, and White all getting good minutes and playing at the pace they do, the Sixers look to be in trouble.

Sixers
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) receives applause as he steps off the court near the end of Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, Sunday, May 14, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

For the Sixers, head coach Nick Nurse may want to go with a more athletics lineup in trying to guard and slow down the Celtics. It’s the only chance that they have to compete tonight against a team that just scored 127 points against the Cavaliers.

Jaden Springer is listed as probable and would add length and defensive ability to the team trying to shut down the Celtics. KJ Martin has recently started getting some minutes and had 17 minutes against the Pelicans. He’s another high value defensive player that could give the Sixers minutes to combat the Celtics.

Maxey, Melton, and Harris need to be shooting their best tonight and all putting up points while limiting turnovers if the Sixers are to stand a chance. With those three and a good rotation of the reserves, the Sixers could give the Celtics a good fight in Boston. More than likely, the game won’t be that close until the end when the Celtics are resting their stars.

Prediction

Sixers 111 – Celtics 123

AP Photo/Kyle Phillips