The Philadelphia 76ers travel to the TD Garden for an Eastern Conference road tilt with the Boston Celtics on Wednesday evening. The 76ers (11-10) have been out of sync this season but are thankful for Joel Embiid’s return from a three-week absence. The Celtics (11-10) eclipsed the .500 mark with a 109-97 road win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Boston opens this game up as slight home favorites.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Lines
Point Spread: Boston Celtics -3
Money Line: BOS -150/ PHI +130
Total: Over/Under 208.5
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Injury Report
Shake Milton (groin) remains a game-time decision for the 76ers. Point guard Ben Simmons (personal matters) will remain out indefinitely.
Dennis Schroder banged up his ankle and missed Saturday’s game at Toronto. He is questionable for this home tilt. Robert Williams (illness) is a game-time decision.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Preview
Embiid Returns to 76ers Lineup
Joel Embiid made a spectacular return to the Sixers lineup with 42 points and 14 rebounds, marking the 14th time in his career he has posted at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in a game. Unfortunately, the Sixers lost to the Timberwolves in double overtime. They bounced back with a win over the Magic, but the 76ers are looking for consistency in their lineups only averaging 107.8 points per game.
last night's tape!
📹 Game Highlights vs. Orlando Magic | 11.29.21 pic.twitter.com/jajCRxB5tz
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 30, 2021
“You know, you’ve got everybody coming back together. We essentially had a new starting lineup,” Embiid said to Associated Press reporters. “Guys have been out, I just came back, Tobias (Harris) just came back, but it’s not an excuse. We dug a hole at the beginning.” The 76ers have been one of the more consistent teams in the Eastern Conference over the last six seasons. Look for them to trend up as Embiid and Harris get healthier for the mid-season grind.
Smart and Celtics Tame Raptors on the Road
Marcus Smart scored 21 points, Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds as the C’s took care of business against the Raptors on Saturday. Jayson Tatum shot 2 for 16 and scored eight points, but added seven rebounds and a season-high 10 assists. Boston bounced back after losing at San Antonio on Friday night when it allowed the Spurs to score the final 15 points.
We responded Sunday night and closed out our road trip with a convincing win over the Raptors. pic.twitter.com/QkOvd8YfWE
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 29, 2021
The Celtics have struggled shooting the ball through the first month of play. Their 43.5% from the field ranks 24th while shooting an uncharacteristic 32.6% from beyond the arc. Jaylen Brown has been in and out of the lineup, forcing some of Boston’s unproven depth to play 25+ minutes a night. The return of Josh Richardson has helped bolster some of their issues on the second unit, as he chipped in 18 points against the Raptors. Tatum and his 39.5% shooting percentage won’t last much longer, so look for the C’s to trend up shooting the rock.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Prediction and Pick
The Celtics have struggled shooting the ball through the first month of play. Their 43.5% from the field ranks 24th while shooting an uncharacteristic 32.6% from beyond the arc. They have been dealing with nagging injuries to Jaylen Brown and Josh Richardson, but both are back and in prime form. Although struggling from the field, Tatum is still dropping 24.3 points a night with 8.5 rebounds.
The Sixers welcomed Joel Embiid back with open arms, desperately needing the MVP caliber center to stabilize their shifting lineups. Playing without Ben Simmons has been a work-in-process, and their defensive flaws will show against a finally healthy Celtics team. Philadelphia is 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games and 2-8 in their last 10 games overall. They’ll be better defensively with Embiid back, but Jayson Tatum isn’t going to shoot 2 of 16 from the field again. Take the Celtics to win and win big at home.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Totals Pick
The 76ers ranked last in pace through the month of November. Joel Embiid and his inside-out game typically slow Sixer games to a half-court grind. The Celtics like to play with the same down-tempo style, preferring to run their offense using every second of the shot clock. This has all the makings of a classic Eastern Conference defensive slugfest. Take the Celtics to win and cover, but throw in an extremely deflated total for some extra juice. Trust this game to go way under.
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