Philadelphia (31-18) enters off a 127-117 road loss to the Hawks on Thursday. Trae Young went off for 39 points and 18 assists as the Sixers defense could not contain the All-Star guard. Shake Milton scored a career-high 27 points with five triples in the loss. Joel Embiid is averaging 22.5 points on 63 percent shooting with 12 boards since returning from a dislocated finger earlier in the week. Embiid dropped 38 points and snatched 13 boards in his first visit to Boston earlier this season. The Sixers are 3-0 against the Celtics this season and have won four straight overall against Boston dating back to last season.
Boston (32-15) enters red hot having won five of its last six games overall after a 119-104 home win over the Warriors on Thursday. Gordon Hayward dropped 35 points and grabbed eight boards. Kemba Walked scored 13 points with five assists but will not suit up on Saturday due to a sore left knee. The Celtics are playing some of their best basketball of the season and are trying to cap off an undefeated week after wins over Miami and Golden State. Boston is led by its defense, ranked third in the NBA allowing just over 105 points per game this season.
ESPN’s FPI gives Boston a 65.1% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s matchup between the 76ers and Celtics.
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76ers vs. Celtics Game Details
Date: Saturday, February 1
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden (East Lansing, Michigan)
TV: ABC, TSN
Spread: Sixers +1.5
- SG Josh Richardson (hamstring) out
- PG Kemba Walker (knee) out
- C Enes Kanter (hip) out
- 76ers are 31-18 SU and 20-25-4 ATS this season
- Celtics are 32-15 SU and 28-17-2 ATS this season
- Under 25-23-1 in 76ers games this season
- Over is 27-20 in Celtics games this season
Analysis & Pick
Both teams enter a little banged up with Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter already ruled out for Boston. Josh Richardson is still recovering from an injured hamstring for the Sixers. Richardson scored 29 points in the win over Boston earlier this month.
Embiid joins Ben Simmons as NBA All-Star selections, becoming the first 76er teammates to be named All-Stars in consecutive seasons since Maurice Cheeks and Charles Barkley in 1987 and 1988. Expect Embiid to have another big game against Boston, especially with Kanter sidelined.
The Philly offense is still a question for me in this game as Richardson provided a big spark in the last matchup between these two. I’m not sure what to make of Shake Milton’s 27-point outburst against Atlanta. If that’s sustainable, the second-year pro could provide a much-needed spark. Boston has the momentum in this matchup, but Philly has owned this series of late and the points are too good to pass up.
PICK: Sixers +1.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith