76ers vs Celtics: Betting preview, predictions & more for tonight’s game

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Milwaukee Bucks’ Malik Beasley (5) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers’ Kyle Lowry during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia 76ers are heading to Boston to take on the best team in the league and looking to get a win. After a blowout loss to the Bucks, the Sixers will be looking to bounce back and try to steal a win from the Celtics, who have won eight straight. The Celtics are at home and haven’t lost a game since losing to the Lakers back on February 1st.

76ers vs Celtics game information

Who: Philadelphia 76ers (33-24) at Boston Celtics (45-12)
When: 7:30 pm EST
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Watch: TNT

76ers vs Celtics: Betting information

Spread: 76ers +12 | Celtics -12
Moneyline: 76ers +550 | Celtics -800
Total: Over/Under 32

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Latest on the 76ers

The 76ers should be just missing Joel Embiid and Robert Covington. The remainder of the roster should be available for tonight’s game and that should give them some hope in their quest to take down the best outfit in the league.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Buddy Hield, left, tries to keep the ball away from New York Knicks’ Josh Hart during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

As the Sixers are going through the final third of the season, they’re just not equipped to compete with teams like the Celtics and Bucks. They don’t have the firepower nor the spacing that will allow them to stick with the Eastern Conference heavyweights.

The Sixers are going to need their best games from players like Tobias Harris, Kelly Oubre Jr., DeAnthony Melton, and Paul Reed. They’ll need Cam Payne and Kyle Lowry to get them points off the bench, Reed to stay out of foul trouble and Harris to work down low to assist in the rebounds and defense.

Latest on the Celtics

The Celtics are the top team in the Eastern Conference and the whole NBA with a 45-12 record on the season. They’ve won eight straight games and are 13-2 over their last 15. Their last loss was to the Lakers all the way back on February 1st and even that game took the Lakers having a perfect game and Austin Reaves leading six players in double figures, with 32 points on the night. It was a rare bump in the road for the Celtics this season.

Sixers 76ers
Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum reacts after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Jayson Tatum has continued his four-year run of being one of the top players in the league, leading the team with 26.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. Dealing with Tatum alone is a tough matchup for any team but combining him with Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis has given the Celtics a big three that can run with anyone in the league.

Brown, the main sidekick for the Celtics is averaging 22.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Porzingis, who’s remained healthy this season, is the third player on the team averaging over twenty points, dropping 20.1 points per game to go along with 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He adds not only length but defense and quality shooting to the team. Those three players are a problem for any team in the league to defend and they’ve shown it throughout the year.

What to watch for tonight

If Embiid were in the lineup, this would be a completely different situation. But with him sidelined, the Celtics will just continue to roll through the competition. While 76ers have dropped all the way to 12th in defensive rating, the Celtics are 3rd in the league and their offensive rating ranks first. This is going to be a tough matchup for Philly, but their perimeter defense should help control some of the attack. The problem the Sixers will face in Boston is keeping the Celtics from scoring inside and preventing Brown and Tatum from penetrating.

Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) celebrates after hitting a 3-point basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Defense is going to be a key to this game for both squads and the Celtics are superior in every way. While Paul Reed will give a good effort, he doesn’t have the composure to stay out of foul trouble against a talented Celtics attack.

This may be the game where the Sixers get DeAnthony Melton some extended minutes, as he returns from a back injury and has increased his minutes in both games. Head coach Nick Nurse could get some of the younger players like KJ Martin, who’s performed well lately, as well as Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council IV some minutes, giving them a chance to compete against the best in the league. This game shouldn’t end well for the Sixers as the Celtics have been rolling through the league.

76ers vs Celtics: Prediction

76ers 108 – Celtics 126

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke