Joel Embiid Smirks

It’s gameday! The Philadelphia 76ers will clash against the Boston Celtics in an Atlantic Division showdown at 7:30 pm EST in TD Garden. Most importantly, this game is going to be broadcasted on NBA TV, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and Philadelphia’s 97.5 “The Fanatic”. As for uniforms, the Celtics plan to wear their 50s-based city jersey and the 76ers will sport their blue icon jersey. Tonight these teams are facing each other for the first time this season. Last year, Philadelphia swept the Boston Celtics in their season series 3-0. 

Celtics Outlook

The Boston Celtics are 11-10 on the season and 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Further, Boston is 6-4 in their last games as they’ve struggled to stay healthy like the 76ers. Newly, the Celtics soundly defeated the Toronto Raptors 109-97. Guard Marcus Smart contributed 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win.

Statistically, the Boston Celtics are a very good defensive team. They rank 5th in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing only 104.9 points per 100 possessions. In the restricted area, Boston gives up 43.0 points, which ranks them 6th in the league in this regard. Additionally, opponents shoot a subpar 43.5% from the field per game against the C’s. Also, opposing teams score 105.5 points per contest vs. the Boston Celtics. Furthermore, Boston’s defensive success can be alluded to by center Robert Williams. This Celtics regime allows 6.6 more points per 100 possessions when Williams is on the sideline. 

Tatum’s Rocky Start to the Season

The Boston Celtics are led by none other than the scoring forward Jayson Tatum. On the season, the 2x all-star is averaging 24.3 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, but shooting an inefficient 39.5% from the field on a career-high 21.8 shot attempts per game. Woefully, Tatum’s true-shooting percentage is 50.5%, which is 5.0% below NBA average. However, in the last 10 games Boston’s star has upped his efficiency and scoring. In this sample size, he averages 25.2 points per game and shoots 40.2% from the field. 

Nonetheless, Jayson Tatum had to carry the load offensively as co-star Jaylen Brown has been in and out of the rotation all season due to COVID-19. On the other hand, Brown is listed as questionable for tonight’s game due to reconditioning. The Boston guard is averaging 22.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and netting 47.3% of his shots from the field.

Celtics 5:30 am EST Injury Report:

  • Jaylen Brown (Questionable – Return to Competition Reconditioning)

76ers Outlook

The Philadelphia 76ers are also 11-10 on the year and sit at 9th place in the Eastern Conference. On Monday Night, the 76ers snapped their two-game losing streak. They defeated the Orlando Magic 101-96 after a dreadful second half. Guard Seth Curry led the team with 24 points, 2 steals, and shot 10-13 from the field. Moreover, Philadelphia is uncharacteristically 5-5 at home this year. However, star center Joel Embiid averages 26.5 points per game, 12.0 rebounds, and shoots 46.7% from the field against the Boston Celtics in his career.

Like I mentioned, the Philadelphia 76ers are facing a good defensive Celtics team, but they have the offensive firepower to combat it. To boot, Philadelphia has the 8th best offensive rating in the NBA, scoring 110.4 points per 100 possessions. The Sixers also have the 8th best true-shooting percentage in the NBA at 56.4%. Besides, Philadelphia is knocking 36.0% from beyond the arc, which ranks them 9th in the league in perimeter shooting. 

It’s been a rough season for two-way player Grant Riller. To start the year, Riller suffered a torn meniscus and underwent surgery to repair it. Following that, Grant Riller debuted for the Delaware Blue Coats and is averaging 13.1 points per game on 49.0% field goal percentage. Sadly, yesterday it was reported that Riller suffered a shoulder injury and will be re-evaluated in one week. 

76ers 5:30 am EST Injury Report:

  • Grant Riller (Out – Right Shoulder Soreness)
  • Ben Simmons (Out – Personal Reasons)