Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics – Wells Fargo Center – 7:00 pm (ET)
The Boston Celtics unbeaten run has unfortunately come to an end at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves — as fellow Hardwood Houdini colleague Caden Charpentier predicted — on Monday night. Can the Celtics get back to winning ways when they face the 5-1 Philadelphia 76ers?
Following back-to-back preseason wins against the Sixers, can the Celtics get the win when it really matters?
The presence of the All-Defensive guard, Derrick White, was noticeably missed on Monday night as the Celtics suffered their only loss of the season so far due to a tightly contested, overtime clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves. This was only the third game that White has missed since joining the Celtics in 2022 and in that time, he has cemented himself as an invaluable piece to this Celtics puzzle.
With no announcements made yet surrounding a potential return to the court on Wednesday night, all we can do is speculate and hope. The clash with the Sixers is bound to be a closely fought one, with or without White, but like most Celtics fans, we would undoubtedly feel more comfortable with his name in the starting five. I’m staying hopeful, and my bet is on White starting this one – he wants to play just as much as we want him to.
If White’s name is absent from the starting five for the third game in a row, then it is very likely that the veteran Al Horford would take his place in the lineup. The presence of Al Horford has been somewhat underappreciated so far this season, as his impacts off the bench have been key contributing factors to the Celtics’ success.
I’m sticking with my gut that White will start this one, but having Horford there as a plan B is a good safety net to have. Not many teams can boast a backup option as capable and as experienced as Horford, and I’m glad he plays in Celtics Green. His veteran presence and versatility on both ends of the floor make him a valuable asset, and his contributions, whether as a starter or coming off the bench, are sure to be crucial in the pursuit of Banner 18.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
PG: Derrick White
SG: Jrue Holiday
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis
The Boston Celtics have been the team to beat this season, with the Timberwolves being the only side to do so. Will this game see the welcomed return of White and can they continue their early season run of form with a victory over their bitter rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers, and solidify their position at the top of the Eastern Division? I’m expecting a tough contest, but hoping for the Celtics to get back to winning ways.
Can the Philadelphia 76ers avenge their postseason woes with a victory over the Celtics?
The Philadelphia 76ers, like the Celtics, have had a successful start to their 2023-24 campaign with their only loss being by one point against the Milwaukee Bucks in their opening game of the season. With the organization having to deal with the uncertainty of the James Harden fiasco, there were many questions surrounding how successful they might be this season.
Now the Harden saga has come to an end, following a trade with the LA Clippers, the Sixers can move forward and hope that “The Process” is still alive. With the reigning MVP at the helm, and cap space free next summer, surely the process isn’t over just yet, right?
In Harden’s absence, the Sixers have been a consistent side with, as previously mentioned, their only loss being by only one point against the former champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. Their most recent win against the Washington Wizards truly shows the array of talent that the team still possesses, with huge individual performances from Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.
Embiid vs. Wizards: 48 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block (+15)
Maxey vs. Wizards: 22 points, 11 assists, one steal and one block (+9)
Off the bench saw Patrick Beverley and the newly acquired Nicolas Batum end the game with the highest +/- with +27 and +30, respectively. They can both make a valuable impact during games, and their contributions will be vital to any success the Sixers may have this season. I don’t expect either to make a start against the Celtics, but extended minutes on the court are looking likely.
Philadelphia 76ers Predicted Lineup
PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: De’Anthony Melton
SF: Kelly Oubre Jr.
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Joel Embiid
It’s a clash of titans as these Atlantic Division rivals renew their rivalry in the regular season, with both organizations wanting to build on their early success. Can Embiid, the reigning MVP, continue his good run of form against the Celtics? And can they mend the postseason wounds with a victory over the Celtics? I don’t think that Nick Nurse will want to make any changes for this one following their impressive win over the Wizards on Monday night.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers Injury Report
Boston Celtics: Neemias Queta – OUT – Right foot injury
Boston Celtics: Derrick White – PROBABLE – Personal
Philadelphia 76ers: None
Boston Celtics 109, Philadelphia 76ers 108