Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
Date & Time: Thursday, 9th January 2020 (7:00 pm ET)
Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Last Game Results
Boston Celtics (25-10): 114-129 loss to the San Antonio Spurs (8th January)
Philadelphia 76ers (24-14): 120-113 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder (6th January)
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics are coming off of an ugly loss to the San Antonio Spurs last night in the NBA. They started the game down 5-22 in the first few minutes of the first quarter and never took the lead throughout the game.
It was also an unusually disarrayed outing from the Celtics with Kemba Walker getting ejected for the first time in his career. The three-time All-Star heatedly complained about a non-call to a ref after he hit the ground hard by a blindside LaMarcus Aldridge screen.
Apart from this game though, the Celtics have been gelling well together. They are currently third in the East and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
Key Player - Kemba Walker
Walker has blended in quite nicely with the Boston Celtics. He will most likely be the smallest player at all times against this Philly team, and he should look to use his smarts to distribute the ball and throw off the Sixers' defense.
Games against Philly seem to always be more heated than usual, and Kemba should look to get back to his cool and collected self to keep his team's emotions in check. With his ejection last game, he only scored 6 points for his team. He should look to redeem himself in this next game as he gives his usual numbers.
Celtics Predicted Lineup
Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jason Tatum, Daniel Theis
Philadelphia 76ers Preview
The Sixers have had some ups and downs this season, putting in a great showing to start the season but now falling to 4-6 in their last 10 games. One of their recurrent problems is Simmons' unwillingness to shoot from 10 feet out, thus causing some clogging in the paint with Embiid and Horford at their best when they post up.
Joel Embiid, who broke his finger in their last game but came back again to finish what he started, will miss this matchup against Boston. The Sixers will look to bring their A-game without their leader and best player against their rivals come Sunday.
Key player - Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris will have to step up as Embiid, who has been ever consistent throughout the season, will be out for their next game. He is currently averaging 19.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and .8 steals this season as the Sixers' second leading scorer.
The 6'8 forward will be up against Boston's wings and should look to contain Tatum, Brown, and Hayward when matched up against them. The Celtics have three players averaging 20+ points this season, and Tobi should look to disturb their game if they want to come away with the win.
Harris should also be ready for the Celtics' defense as he'll most likely be the target with his ability to score from anywhere. He should look to come out aggressive and shoot it out while also targeting the paint, which is Boston's weakness right now.
Sixers Predicted Lineup
Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, James Ennis III, Tobias Harris, Al Horford,
Celtics vs 76ers Match Prediction
Any Celtics-Sixers matchup is always a charged-up affair and this should be a close game. With Embiid out for this and the Sixers being in quite a slump these past games, the Celtics could come out victorious against their rivals come Thursday.
Where to Watch Celtics vs 76ers?
The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Philadelphia and TNT. You can also catch it live via NBA League Pass.Published 09 Jan 2020, 13:33 IST