The Boston Celtics open up the 2023 preseason with an Atlantic Division rival falling on hard times, the Philadelphia 76ers, at the TD Garden on October 8. For the Cs, integrating new stars in offseason acquisitions Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday will be the primary goal. For Philly, figuring out how to placate James Harden long enough not to cause enough internal turmoil to down the franchise is of the utmost importance.
Of course, a preseason game isn’t going to provide us with all of these answers, or most of them, or even a handful of them. What it will provide, however, is a feel for what kind of combinations work for both teams and what kind of momentum (or lethargy) each team is bringing into the new season.
Will Nick Nurse be successful in his first public outing coaching the Sixers? Or will Joe Mazzulla start off a new era with a feel-good exhibition win?
Philadelphia 76ers (2022-23): 3rd (ORtg), 8th (DRtg), 27th (Pace), 3rd (NRtg)
Boston Celtics (2022-23): 2nd (ORtg), 2nd (DRtg), 20th (Pace), 1st (NRtg)
Boston Celtics Projected Starting Lineup
PG –Jrue Holiday, SG – Jaylen Brown, SF – Jayson Tatum, PF – Al Horford, C – Kristaps Porzingis
Philadelphia 76ers Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Patrick Beverley, SG – Tyrese Maxey, SF – Tobias Harris, PF – P.J. Tucker, C – Paul Reed
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers Injury Report
76ers C Montrezl Harrell (Torn ACL) – Out
76ers PG James Harden (Personal) – Questionable
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
Boston is coming in with all of the momentum in this one after landing a former NBA Champion in Holiday in a last-second deal and making the painful, but right, decision to trade Marcus Smart for a legitimate third option in the offense.
Philadelphia couldn’t be in a worse spot, with the prospect of Harden’s departure causing the long-time franchise pillar, Joel Embiid, seemingly on the table.
The Celtics are going to start off the preseason right: blowing the doors off a heated foe in the first home-cooking for the best roster this franchise has had since Banner 17 was raised.
Celtics 121 Sixers 109