With the trade deadline and All-Star break officially behind us, the sprint to the 2023 NBA Playoffs is on, and with it comes a marquee match between the historic sports cities of Boston and Philadelphia. Here are five stats you should know for tonight’s primetime matchup.
Saturday on ABC: Boston at Philadelphia (8:30 p.m. ET)
1. The Celts rule
Boston is the only team to finish in the top five this season in both offensive (3rd, 117.2 points per 100 possessions) and defensive efficiency (4th, 111.0 points per 100 possessions allowed). . The Celtics lead the NBA in net ratings at plus-6.2.
2. Embiid dominates
Joel Embiid ranks second in scoring (33.0 ppg) and ninth in rebounding (10.3 rpg). He is on track to become the first player since Bob McAdoo, who spent three consecutive seasons with the Buffalo Braves (now LA Clippers) from 1973-74 to 1975-76. Only four players have ever gone 30-10 consecutive seasons: McAdoo (three in a row), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (three, 1970-71 to 1972-73), Oscar Robertson (two, 1960-61 and 1961-62) and Wilt Chamberlain (seven, 1959-60 to 1965-66)
3. Dynamic duo of Brown, Tatum
In their first meeting on opening night, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 35 points to lead the Celtics to a 126-117 win. This season, Boston is 6-1 if Tatum and Brown both score at least 30 points in the same game.
4. Sixers on winning streak
Philadelphia goes into this game with a five-game winning streak dating back to February 10; The last loss was on February 8 against Boston. During that five-game winning streak, Joel Embiid averaged 30.2 points and 12.6 rebounds, James Harden averaged 25.4 points, 9.4 assists and 3.4 3-pointers on 44.7% shooting, and Tyrese Maxey averaged in the 19.4 point average and leads the team with a 70 plus in 166 minutes played off the bench.
5. 3 point pressure
Boston ranks second in 3-point points scored (16.0 per game) and fifth in 3-point percentage (37.9% as a team). Philadelphia keeps their opponents with the second-lowest 3-point scores (11.1) and second-lowest 3-point percentage (34.2%) this season.