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Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics: What Can Philly's Bench Unit Provide?

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 18, 2022
15 min read
  • The Philadelphia 76ers will face one of the East's best in their first matchup of the season.
  • The Boston Celtics look to get off on the right foot after a disappointing post-season and eventful off-season.
  • The Sixers and Celtics tied last year's season series, 2-2.

Sixers vs Celtics Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM. Sign up and get a $1000 risk-free bet.

TeamSpreadMoney LineTotal
76ers+3.5 (-110)
O 213.5 (-110)
Celtics-3.5 (-110)
U 213.5 (-110)

Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics Predictions and Picks

The Boston Celtics have undergone an offseason that weakened them in one of the most unexpected ways. Despite their wealth of talent, Boston will have a difficult time controlling a healthy and prepared Sixers team and their inside-outside threat of Embiid and Harden.


Philadelphia 76ers def. Boston Celtics (+140)

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Sixers vs Celtics Predictions

Head-to-Head: Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics

Philadelphia 76ersHead-to-HeadBoston Celtics
Doc RiversHead CoachJoe Mazzulla (interim)
0-0 (T-30th in 30)Standing0-0 (T-30th in 30)
n/a (30 of 30)Off Rtgn/a (30 of 30)
n/a (30 of 30)Def Rtgn/a (30 of 30)
n/a (30 of 30)Pacen/a (30 of 30)

Leaders (Per Game) (2021-22)

J. Embiid (30.6)PPGJ. Tatum (26.9)
J. Embiid (11.7)RPGR. Williams (9.6)
J. Harden (10.5)APGM. Smart (5.9)
M. Thybulle (1.7)SPGM. Smart (1.7)
J. Embiid (1.5)BPGR. Williams (2.2)
C. Bassey (.638)/J. Embiid (9.8)FG%/FGMR. Williams (.736)/J. Tatum (9.3)
T. Maxey (.427)/J. Harden (2.2)3P%/3PMS. Hauser (.432)/J. Tatum (3.0)

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Injury Report

Robert WilliamsBoston Celtics23 Sep 2022Out (Knee)Williams underwent surgery on his left knee, he'll miss 8-12 weeks.

PHI: What Can Philly's Bench Unit Provide?

The Philadelphia 76ers are a top-heavy team to say the least. While they made some additions to their depth this offseason, none are the type to lead a solid bench unit. If they want to beat the Celtics, Doc Rivers will need to intelligently stagger his starters with his role players.

Last season, no bench player averaged more than 9.2 points per game - and the consistency from most was poor to say the least. Philadelphia weren't a team famous for their ball movement, evidenced by their 21st ranking 23.7 assists per game.

The Sixers need all hands on deck against a Celtics team whose quality rarely drops when the bench comes into play. If the likes of Maxey or Harris can take on the primary scoring load when Harden and Embiid are off the court, the Sixers have a great chance of helping their bench unit keep up.

Sixers Key Player: (G) James Harden

The Philadelphia 76ers brought in James Harden to be the perimeter partner to Joel Embiid's post presence. Due to injuries and a lack of chemistry, Harden failed to meet expectations for the Sixers. However, with a full training camp under his belt, Harden is expected to start the season strong.

Simply put, the Sixers wanted Harden to be the difference maker for them in the NBA Playoffs. Instead, Harden struggled, posting averages of just 18.6 points, 8.6 assists, and 5.7 rebounds on 40.5% shooting from the field and 36.8% shooting from three-point range.

Without a true point guard on their roster, the Sixers will be looking to Harden to act as the primary playmaker. He's probably far from his MVP levels of play, but as a shooter and distributor, he is still one of the best in the league. His threat, combined with Embiid, has the potential to overcome any team.

BOS: Can the Celtics Compete Inside?

The Boston Celtics are famous for their perimeter play. With the scoring abilities of Tatum and Brown, combined with the two-way play of Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon, Boston sports one of the league's top outside units. However, with Robert Williams injured, how will they protect the paint?

The Celtics couldn't have had a more difficult opening night matchup considering how shorthanded they are in the paint. While veteran Al Horford is still available, the Celtic's rim presence is significantly weakened.

Boston were best in the NBA in field-goal percentage allowed last season, owing to their balance on all tiers of defense. Without their number one interior presence available, they don't project to be able to limit the Sixers' Joel Embiid.

Celtics Key Player: (G) Jaylen Brown

The Boston Celtics were surely motivated by their NBA Finals loss last season, but no player sounded more driven than Jaylen Brown. While Jayson Tatum faltered in Boston's last Finals game, it was Jaylen Brown who showed he has the composure to perform on the biggest stage.

Through the 2021-22 NBA season, Brown posted 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 66 games played. He was less efficient overall when shooting the ball, but he showed clear improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

The Celtics have always relegated Jaylen Brown to second fiddle, as Tatum has always been the star of the show. With a new training camp under his belt and a more balanced roster, expect Brown to carry his stellar post-season play into opening night!

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How to Watch Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics

WhoPhiladelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics
WhereTD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
When7:30 PM EST, Tuesday, October 18th, 2022
How to WatchTNT, NBA League Pass (Stream)
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Christian Jope

1489 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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