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Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers: Match Preview and Predictions - 23rd October 2019

23 Oct 2019, 02:00 IST

Will Philly's big-3 come to the fore in their season opener?
Will Philly's big-3 come to the fore in their season opener?

Match details

Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers

Date and time: Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 7:30 PM (ET)

Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Last game result

Boston Celtics: 118-95 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers (preseason, 15 October)

Philadelphia 76ers: 93-112 loss against the Washington Wizards (preseason, 18 October)

Match overview

Two teams that will most certainly be challenging for the Eastern Conference crown come head to head in a marquee clash on day 2 of the 2019-20 NBA regular season. While the Philadelphia 76ers will be looking to build on what was a rather impressive campaign last season, halted only by Kawhi Leonard's last gasp winner in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Boston Celtics have lost ground to recover.

The Celtics went undefeated in the preseason and won most of their games by double-digit margins. Brad Stevens seems to have his rotations sorted despite the franchise's rather significant roster changes following the departures of Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier and Al Horford and the arrivals of Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter.

The 76ers boast of a significant size advantage this time around with Josh Richardson – their offseason acquisition – being the shortest amongst the preferred starting five despite being listed at 6'5. Philly lost their final preseason game, only one out of five, but it's worth noting that Ben Simmons was amiss in that fixture.

Key players

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker

Boston Celtics - Kemba Walker

In a team brimming with young talent but bereft of notable veterans, it is Kemba Walker who must rise to the occasion, having showcased commendable leadership skills during Team USA's not so memorable FIBA World Cup 2019 campaign. Having averaged 25.6 points per game last season for the Charlotte Hornets, it goes without saying that Kemba will be the primary scoring option for the Cs.

Philadelphia 76ers - Joel Embiid

A prospective MVP candidate for the upcoming season and arguably among the top 2 centers in the league (along with Nikola Jokic), Joel Embiid is not only Brett Brown's go-to man on offense, but he's also Philly's best defender. Embiid averaged a mammoth 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds last season and could even improve on those numbers this season.

Predicted starting lineups

Boston Celtics - Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis

Philadelphia 76ers - Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid

Celtics vs 76ers match prediction

Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics have been a team known for their defense and the same should be their focus heading into the game on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center. However, Philly's size makes it that much more difficult to force the issue, be it on defense or offense.

Joel Embiid will cause a lot of problems to Boston. He will be matched up against the likes of Daniel Theis and Ener Kanter who are likely to require help against the Cameroonian. That again would allow the 76ers to find some wide-open looks. The fact that all of their starters can now stretch the floor – even Ben Simmons has a jumper now – only works in Philadelphia's favor.

The Sixers also lost only 10 games at home all season last year, thereby tipping the odds more so in their favor on paper for this game.

Where to watch Celtics vs 76ers?

The game will be broadcast nationwide on TNT from 7:30 PM (ET). There will be local coverage of the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia as well. You can live stream the game via NBA League Pass.

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