Tuesday night is the perfect opportunity for the Sixers to beat the Celtics for the first time this year. With Kyrie Irving out and the Celtics in complete disarray, the Sixers need to capitalize and beat the bad guys. The game will be played in South Philly, which only helps the Sixers, as they are dominant on their home court. It is important to note that this will be the first time the Sixers showoff the Philly Phour against Boston, and it will be interesting to see how they fair. The last time the teams met, it was Christmas Day and Boston stole a victory from Philadelphia in overtime. The addition of Tobias Harris and the group of players the Sixers acquired at the deadline should make a huge impact on the game, hopefully enough to push Philly to victory.
Play to Look For
Boston: With Kyrie Irving out, Terry Rozier is going to have to handle the ball for majority of the game. We saw how well he played in the second round of the 2018 playoffs against the Sixers, and the Celtics will need another big performance from Rozier to keep up with the Philly Phour. Outside of Rozier, it is also important for Boston to get a good defensive performance out of Al Horford. He normally shows up when playing the Sixers, and he handles Joel Embiid very well. With the addition of Harris, it will be imperative for Boston to contain Embiid as much as they can.
Philadelphia: I’m still not over the fact that Tobias Harris is on the Sixers. In the two games he has played in the a Sixers’ uniform, he has played really well, especially in Sunday’s blowout of the Lakers. His shooting ability makes defenses respect him, which spaces the floor , giving Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Jimmy Butler room to operate. If Harris can knock down shots, it should make things easier for his teammates.
Keys to Victory
Boston: Get over their issues. The Celtics are way too talented to be playing the way that they are. Even with Kyrie out, they’re a tough match up for any team in the league, especially the Sixers. Outside of getting along, it is tough to say “lock down a certain player.” With the Sixers’ new lineup, it is going to next to impossible to focus on one certain player on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve seen the Celtics key on Ben Simmons in the past, and they have been very successful in shutting him down. Now with the addition of Tobias Harris, it is going to be hard to key on Simmons or another Sixer. The key to a Boston victory is playing the solid team defense we have grown accustom to seeing out of them.
Philadelphia: Get over the hump. The Sixers were a very good team before the deadline additions, but they still struggled with defeating Boston. They were in every game, and deserved to win a few of the most recent match ups between the two. Now, with the new additions, there is no reason the Sixers should be losing winnable games to Boston. The time is now, and it is time for the Sixers to forget their past with Boston and focus on turning this rivalry to the other side.
As I said above, I think the time is now. The Sixers are done being the little brother in the rivalry, and they are ready to take their game to the next level. That starts with beating Boston on Tuesday night and riding high into the All-Star Break. I see it being a close game through the opening three quarters, but the Sixers are too talented to lose to Boston. I’m taking the Sixers with a final score of 116-104.