Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics 12/1/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview (12/1/21)
The Philadelphia 76ers (11-10) will have another test against the Boston Celtics (11-10) on the 1st of December. Both teams have suffered injuries to key players and have been negatively affected at the beginning of the season; however, they should be near full health now. Philadelphia has welcomed back two starters into its starting lineup: Matisse Thybulle and Joel Embiid. These two players are significant to the Sixers on each end of the floor, but especially the defensive end. Last season, Philadelphia was an elite defensive team but had dropped into the bottom ten without Thybulle and Embiid. Boston had missed Jaylen Brown for eight consecutive games recently, which certainly did not help its offensive output, while Jayson Tatum had struggled with shooting efficiency. Below is the analysis for both teams as well as the predictions for the outcome of the game.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds
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The Sixers are completely healthy and should be turning a proverbial corner in terms of their chemistry. Remember, before Embiid was diagnosed with COVID, they were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, having rattled off several convincing wins in a row after a slow start to the season. Now that the dust has settled a bit with the Ben Simmons situation and everyone is healthy, Philadelphia should be prepared for another winning streak. I like the Sixers as slight road favorites here, assuming the line is around -3 or better. I think the Celtics will struggle to score at times due to Philadelphia now having Thybulle and Embiid back in the lineup. Keep an eye on the point total as well because this game could be low-scoring.
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Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, MA
Channel: NBA TV
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Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Analysis
Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia 76ers are fully healthy and boast one of the most talented starting lineups in the NBA, especially after Tyrese Maxey’s explosive second season. Maxey’s numbers will likely fall slightly from the averages of his past ten games of 22.8 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game. However, that will not change his impact on this Sixers team that was supposed to miss Ben Simmons more than this. Now that Philadelphia is not ravaged by injuries or COVID, it may be able to rattle off several wins in a row, beginning with this game against Boston. The Sixers lost a tough one against the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime, but they showed significant promise with everyone back, especially Embiid, who dropped a monstrous 42 points and 14 boards. The return of Matisse Thybulle and Joel Embiid to the starting lineup immediately should also catapult the Sixers’ defense back into the top ten in the NBA after becoming a bottom-ten defense without Embiid and Thybulle.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Analysis
If the outlook of the Eastern Conference does not change much over the course of the 2021-22 NBA season, then there will be five teams battling for just a few playoff spots. Right now, Boston is one of those teams, but its lack of consistency is deeply concerning. The Celtics lost to the San Antonio Spurs last Friday but then turned around and beat the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Despite having two of the game’s best players, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Boston cannot seem to figure it out. This has been a problem not just this season but last season as well. Tatum has been inefficient from the field, and Brown is still looking to return to form from the hamstring injury that sidelined him for several games. Boston can win this game if it can get big, efficient games from both Brown and Tatum. Additionally, the Celtics will need to get other guys involved so that the ball does not stick to any one player. The Sixers are particularly talented on the defensive end when they are healthy, so the Celtics have to maximize each offensive possession and get quality open looks.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Daily Fantasy Picks
Finally, Joel Embiid has returned and is healthy after being diagnosed with COVID several weeks ago. Embiid recently admitted that he was scared that he might pass due to the deadly virus that has taken so many. However, he looked like he had not missed a beat against the Minnesota Timberwolves, scoring 42 points and bringing down 14 rebounds. Embiid looked like he did last season in his return, and this was very promising, considering several athletes have stated the effects of COVID lingered. While Embiid’s averages this season are down, he should gradually increase in all statistical categories throughout the season. His ability to get to the free-throw line and shoot well was on full display against Minnesota, and he also was able to shoot more than he had all year so far. He should be in line for another big game against the Boston Celtics.
Marcus Smart has been known as a lockdown defender with a killer mentality, but he does way more than that. Smart has the ability to put up points, rebounds, and assists and thus, remains a viable utility player in DFS. This season, he has had several games that have proved his value, including two games with 20+ points in the past four games. Smart has been effective even with the return of Jaylen Brown. Ride the Marcus Smart wave and stick him in your DFS lineup as a utility player in this matchup.