The Philadelphia 76ers are keeping their starting lineup the same for Game 7 against the Boston Celtics on Sunday. It will be Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker starting, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.
Some wondered if Doc Rivers would move Tucker out of the starting lineup in order to get more offense in there, but the Sixers coach is sticking with his trusted veteran. Philly is looking to bounce back in this do-or-die game after a disastrous collapse down the stretch in Game 6 at home.
The Sixers managed just 13 points in the fourth quarter of Game 6, throwing away a prime opportunity to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Jayson Tatum struggled all game until the fourth quarter, when he finally came alive to push the Celtics to victory and a Game 7 back in Boston.
Tucker played just 20 minutes in Game 6, scoring eight points on 3-of-8 shooting and 2-of-7 from 3-point range. He hadn’t taken more than five shots in a game in the series before that game, with six being his previous high in the playoffs altogether. The Sixers need Tucker to be willing to let it fly when the Celtics leave him open from 3-point range. While he’s still a valuable defensive player, he can be a liability on offense.
Neubeck notes that Rivers needs to have a quick hook for Tucker if he struggles early. De’Anthony Melton and George Niang are better scoring options off the bench, though Melton did have a few ugly misses in the fourth quarter of Game 6.
Either way, Philly will need all hands on deck to win a road Game 7 on Sunday.
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