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Sixers Kick off Road Trip with Matchup vs. Celtics

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

After a quick weekend homestand, the Sixers head right back out on the road. They will kick off a four-game road trip on Tuesday night, starting with a matchup against the Boston Celtics. A win in this game would give the Sixers the sweep of the season series.

The Sixers took care of Boston when these teams met in Philadelphia for a 'series' back in January, but they were short-handed. This time around they will have Jayson Tatum, who missed both games due to health and safety protocol.

Boston will be missing players again in this matchup. Newly acquired Evan Fournier and Tristan Thompson will both miss Tuesday's matchup due to health and safety protocols.

After being without Joel Embiid on Sunday against Memphis, it looks like he will take the floor against Boston. As of the latest injury report, only George Hill is listed out with a thumb injury.

Getting Embiid back will be a nice boost for the Sixers, and this is the perfect matchup to get him going after his return from injury. When these teams met in January, Boston had no chance of slowing down the All-Star center.

In game one of the mini-series, Embiid erupted for 42 points and 10 rebounds in just 33 minutes on the floor. He would follow up that performance two days later with 38 points and 11 rebounds in just 30 minutes.

Embiid has had his way with Boston this season, and this version of their roster has no chance to combat him. With Thompson out and Daniel Theis traded, they have minimal frontcourt size to attempt to defend him.

This lack of size should also benefit Ben Simmons. With Embiid commanding all the attention he does, Simmons should have clear lanes to the basket all game.

One player to watch on the Boston side is Jaylen Brown. In the second matchup this season, the first time All-Star dropped 42 points and almost willed the Celtics to victory.

Slowing down the Tatum and Brown combo is no small task, but this is still a matchup that favors the Sixers. With no answer for Embiid, it's going to be tough to stop the Sixers' offense once he gets rolling.

This is just the kind of matchup they need to start the trip off on a high note and get back in the win column.

Matchup notes: 

  • Joel Embiid is shooting 67.6% from the floor against the Celtics this season, his highest mark against any opponent
  • Jaylen Brown is averaging 34.3 PPG on 50% shooting in two matchups against the Sixers this season
  • Marcus Smarts 22.5 PPG against the Sixers are his highest against any opponent this season
  • Shake Milton is averaging 16.2 PPG and shooting 50% from three over his last five games

Sixerdelphia

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