Two of the NBA title contenders, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics, clash this Wednesday night at the TD Garden. This is one of the biggest rivalries in the NBA, with the Sixers and the Cs having a very colorful background as the division rivals. Also, we have two MVP candidates involved, Joel Embiid and Jayson Tatum. Recently, Embiid was better than Jokic, and if he ends up on the winning side here, the prospects for his first MVP accolade will rise significantly.
Philadelphia 76ers (34-18, TBA) plays its third consecutive road game. After a win in San Antonio, 137-125, the Sixers were defeated in New York, 108-97. It was a highly painful loss for the franchise from Philly, who lost a 21-point edge and allowed the Knicks to outscore them 32-18 in the final period.
What was very strange in this event was Philly’s three-point shooting percentage, 7-for-25. In the moments when they needed to stretch the Knicks’ defense the most, none of the guards managed to find its groove from a distance.
Embiid had 31 points and 14 boards, missing just one of his 19 free throws. Melton and Harris had 14 each, noting that the power forward added 10 boards. James Harden delivered both 12 points and assists each.
Boston Celtics (38-16, TBA) are topping the league and the East right now, but they feel the pressure coming from behind with the Bucks improving and narrowing their gap to just one game.
The Cs have three wins and one loss in the past four, beating the Lakers and the Nets at home, then surprisingly losing to the Suns, before defeating the Detroit Pistons in Michigan in their most recent contest, 111-99. As usual, their very good control of the glass was crucial, with the Cs having 51 boards, nine more than the rivals.
Tatum had 34 buckets, along with 11 boards and six assists. Jaylen Brown was a great support with 23 points and both seven assists and rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon got off the bench to score 16 buckets, one more than Sam Hauser, who delivered all of his points from behind the three-point line.
Head to Head Games
The first meeting this year was in Boston as well, and the Cs won 126-117. It was the opening night for both units, and the game was very exciting. Tatum and Brown both had 35 points each, only Tatum recorded 12 boards. Brogdon added 16 off the bench, while Grant Williams scored one point fewer.
Meanwhile, Harden had 35 for the Sixers, eight boards, and seven assists, and Embiid dropped 26 with 15 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey would score 21.
The game will be very intense and with lots of physicalities since the Cs play at home. They are among the best defensive teams in the league and have one of the top offenses in the NBA. The Sixers, too, are very gifted on the offensive side of the ball, but they aren’t very good when it comes down to deciding the game through the defense. This is why we bet on the home team in this contest.
Pick: Boston Celtics win
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.