Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Game 2 – Thursday May 3, 8:30 PM EST at TD Garden Boston, MA
The Celtics lead this best of 7 series 1-0.
Many thought the lower seed 76ers were the team to beat in this series at full strength and after disposing of the Miami Heat in five games in the first round of the playoffs. On top of that, the Celtics had their first-round series go seven games. However, Boston beat Philly by 16 points in the first game of the series where they dominated, pretty much, every part of the game.
In Game 1 the Celtics shot a higher FG% (48.2% to 42.2%), a much better 3-pt FG% (48.6% to 19.2%), and they had fewer turnovers.
The deep ball really hurt the 76ers is Game 1, as Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, and J.J. Redick combined for 63 points, but they only were 4/16 behind the 3-pt arc.
The Celtics no longer have the Big 3, but they had three come up big in Game 1 with Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier each go for at least 26 points. They all shot at least 50% from the floor and Rozier and Horford combined for 15 rebounds.
The Celtics came out swinging in Game 1 and took control of the game early. They outscored the 76ers by 11 points in the first half and after that the game was never that close. Philadelphia has to get off to a better start and they have to not only hit the 3 better, but defend it better as well. They missed 15 of their first 30 shots and they cannot come out that ice cold in Game 2.
Embiid had his highest scoring game of the playoffs with 31 points and also had 13 rebounds
The Celtics won Game 1 even without Jaylen Brown, who ranked 2nd on the team in scoring in the first round of the playoffs averaging 17.9 ppg. He is dealing with a hamstring injury and is listed as questionable for this game.
Ben Simmons had a pretty good game in the stat sheet going for 18 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, but he runs the 76ers as a PG and has to set a better pace, especially early. On top of that he had seven turnovers in the game.
This season the Celtics have won four of five games facing the 76ers.
The 76ers had covered the spread in five of six games before failing to do so in Game 1 in this series. However, Boston has covered the spread at home in every playoff games this season.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics prediction
Not many are giving Boston a chance to go all the way with star PG Kyrie Irving out. However, while stretched to seven games in their first-round playoff series and without a key player in Game 1 they still won easily at home.
The 76ers have the talent and the youth, but so does a new-look Celtics team and in their house on Friday night they will cover the 3.5-point spread at Bovada and head to the City of Brotherly Love up 2-0 in this Eastern Conference semifinals series.
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