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Preview: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers

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The Celtics look to stop a two-game losing streak and head to Philadelphia to take on the new look Sixers.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After a two-day lull, the Celtics travel to Philadelphia to take on the new look 76ers. It will be the first match up of these two teams after the 76ers acquired Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers. So far, this team seems to be gelling already putting up impressive numbers among their own core four. Tonight will be a big test for the Celtics to travel into a hostile environment without Kyrie Irving.

Boston is on a two-day slide after not receiving the message throughout the city to “Beat LA.” In both the losses to the Lakers and Clippers, the team has looked out of sorts blowing two big leads in games they should have won. Now, the road does not get any easier facing up against an Eastern Conference opponent where a tiebreaker could be important at the end of the season.

Even though the Celtics have dominated them in head-to-head matchups (12-3 including playoffs) over the past few years, these games seem to bring the best out of all these players. The key to Philly’s success will be dominating in the post. Joel Embiid’s kryptonite Aron Baynes will be out for this one too, so the load falls on Al Horford to be physical enough to disrupt Embiid all game.

However, that is a very tall task now with even more shooters on the floor. Harris is an addition that helps with their team shooting. He was shooting 43.4% from three with the Clippers. This causes nightmares for defenses having to guard the post with Embiid, but not being able to leave Harris or Redick alone on the arc. Celtics will have to play great defense in this one tonight.

As for the Celtics, this one will be tough and it really does not come at the best of times for this team. They will be coming off those two losses down their best player facing a much improved Sixers team. Marcus Morris called out the team for not playing with any life, and that it was not fun to play anymore. That will be tested tonight. Winning creates happiness amongst NBA locker rooms, so that is how the Celtics can find the joy in basketball again.

As mentioned, the Celtics injury report includes Aron Baynes and Kyrie Irving. Zharie Smith, Justin Patton, and Shake Milton will be sidelined for Philly.

More than anything else, the Celtics need this win because they are starting to take on some national media attention again. Of course, when they win nine of ten, no one says a word, but a three-game losing streak heading into the All Star break is a different story. A loss should not worry anyone, but we all knows how that goes down.


Projected Starters

PG – Terry RozierBen Simmons

SG – Marcus SmartJJ Redick

SF – Jayson TatumJimmy Butler

PF – Marcus Morris Sr. – Tobias Harris

C – Al HorfordJoel Embiid

Injuries

Boston- Aron Baynes (Foot); Kyrie Irving (Knee)

Philadelphia- Shake Milton (Finger); Zhaire Smith (Foot); Justin Patton(Foot)

How To Watch

Time – 8:00 EST

TV – TNT/ NBC Sports Boston