Game: Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: 76ers +2.5, Celtics -2.5
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will play each other Tuesday night to kick off the NBA season. Both of these clubs appear to have realistic hopes of winning the league championship in 2022–23. The Celtics won the Eastern Conference last season before falling to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. In the second round of the conference playoffs last year, the fourth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Miami Heat.
Joe Mazzulla is Boston’s new head coach, while Malcolm Brogdon is their new sixth man. The 34-year-old Mazzulla will be making his NBA coaching debut in this game after being named interim head coach when Ime Udoka received a season-long suspension for violating team policy by having improper contact with a woman in the organization. The Celtics will be looking to win their 18th championship in franchise history this season.
Brad Stevens, the president of the Celtics, has confidence in Mazzulla’s leadership skills as well as his capacity to energize an audience and rally support. The Celtics acquired the versatile Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas, and a 2023 first-round pick. Brogdon is expected to be Boston’s sixth man. Brogdon, who turns 30 in December, has endured a number of injuries over the course of his six-year NBA career. He has missed 140 games in that period, including 46 last season.
Philadelphia will once more rely on Joel Embiid, who won the NBA scoring championship last year. In each of the previous two seasons, Embiid came up short in the league MVP vote to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Embiid led the NBA in scoring last year with 30.6 points per game, becoming the first center to do so since Shaquille O’Neal and the first since Moses Malone in 1982 to average at least 30 points in the process..
Holdovers Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and Tobias Harris will help to provide the Sixers one of the league’s top lineups. The 76ers also acquired De’Anthony Melton from the Memphis Grizzlies in the trade. Additionally, the Sixers signed free agents Montrezl Harrell, P.J. Tucker, and Danuel House Jr. Embiid said it might take some time for the 76ers to establish their ideal lineup with so many new guys.
Before the game, the Celtics will pay tribute to the late Bill Russell, who died on July 31. The Hall of Fame center contributed to Boston winning 11 NBA titles over the course of his 13-year career. Russell is one of just three athletes in the history of significant American sports to have their jersey number retired across an entire league. The list includes Wayne Gretzky (No. 99) and Jackie Robinson (No. 42).
The Sixers are 5-2 SU in their last seven games against Boston. Philadelphia is also 7-1 ATS in the last eight against the Celtics. The Under is 5-1 in the last six Sixers-Celtics games.
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