The Boston Celtics saved their season by taking a crucial Game 6 matchup over the Philadelphia 76ers by a score of 95–86. It was a dull performance from both sides all the way, highlighted largely by the shooting statistics of both sides. None was worse than Jayson Tatum, who scored only 19 points on 5/21 shooting. However, he scored 16 of those points in the fourth quarter, leading to a charge for the Celtics to force a Game 7. With the series now tied and heading back to Boston, the Celtics are now back in the driver’s seat as favorites to win on Sunday. game on the Sixers.
At the moment, the Celtics are -275 to win Game 7 and the series. That’s a huge swing after being big underdogs before Game 6. There were moments in Game 6 where it looked like the Sixers were on their way to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, but Tatum’s fourth quarter performance ultimately sealed the deal for Boston. The Celtics also got a big performance from Marcus Smart, who usually isn’t filling up the scoresheet. Smart had 22 points on 8/15 shooting, along with 7 assists, playing excellent point guard throughout the contest.
Looking at the matchup of Game 7, it’s no surprise that the Celtics are the favorites with the series tied. Specifically, there are three reasons why the Celtics are favored to win. So what are those three reasons?
The Celtics are -275 to win Game 7 and the series, and here are three reasons why.
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Boston Celtics Playoff History
There is no doubt that the Boston Celtics are a more prestigious organization than the Philadelphia 76ers. In general, playoff success between these two franchises can’t really be compared; The Celtics have 16 championships while the Sixers have two. With that in mind, the Celtics are playing for another chance in the Eastern Conference Finals with their home crowd and an arena by their side. The jersey history on his back will see him overtake the Sixers, as he has a championship repertoire to maintain.
Past titles don’t really matter when determining game results, but there is undoubtedly pride in wearing the Celtics uniform. Wanting to prevent the legacy that comes with playing for the Celtics shows in these precise moments; A Game 7 at TD Garden is up for play for the Boston Celtics. No matter what the Sixers are able to do, the Celtics have a solid advantage with the energy their circumstances provide. They are a better team and a better organization, which is a big reason why they are -275 to win.
James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers struggles
James Harden has been the reason for both the Sixers’ win and loss in this series. In Game 6, he had his worst performance, and afterward the Sixers struggled on offense and lost. Harden went 4/16 from the field, including 0/6 from the 3-point line, on his way to 13 points. This just isn’t a sustainable performance for a Sixers win, and unfortunately may be expected by Sixers fans in Game 7. This moment is going to be huge, and Harden is going to have another bad performance.
Harden has proved in this series that he can still be the scorer he once was, and is a major reason these teams are meeting in a decisive Game 7. However, with the season on the line and the energy of the TD Garden behind them, the Celtics are suffocating and are scrambling to defend. This is going to make the biggest difference in Harden’s game, as he will again struggle like he did in Game 6. In the end, the Sixers would have made a great effort, but would have fallen behind in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics are the definite favorites for Game 7 with the most likely struggles heading their way for James Harden.
jason tatum moment
Despite a slow start in Game 6, Jayson Tatum proved he’s made for playoff moments. His 16 fourth quarter points were crucial in forcing a Game 7, and now he has the opportunity to be the biggest star in a closeout game. After missing out on the NBA Finals last season, it has been well documented how determined Tatum is to return to the NBA’s biggest stage. This would lead him to put up a big performance in Game 7 and lead the Celtics back to the Eastern Conference Finals in consecutive seasons.
A big performance from Tatum can be expected in Game 7 given his 5/21 performance in Game 6. He may have had a great fourth quarter, but a complete outing will be necessary for the Celtics to beat the Sixers. Luckily for all of Boston, that would be the case and he should lead the Celtics to victory. Jayson Tatum poised for another defining performance of his career is the last reason the Celtics are the big favorites to win this series at -275.