NBA Handicapping Predictions – 76ers vs Celtics
The Philadelphia 76ers evened up this series with a win Wednesday night. The eighth seeded 76ers have pushed this game to the brink.
NBA Basketball Matchup: #8 Philadelphia 76ers (3-3) vs. #4 Boston Celtics (3-3)
Date/Time: May 26, 8:00 PM EST on ABC
NBA Gambling Odds from BetDSI
NBA Betting Favorite: Celtics -5.5
Can the young Sixers upend the heavily favored Celtics in Game Seven? The oddsmakers have the veteran Celtics favored by 5.5.
Let’s take a closer look at this critical Game Seven in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Doug Collins’ team has shown that they are extremely scrappy, but this will be a major test for them on the road in a deciding Game Seven. Boston knows how to win Game Seven’s, so the 76ers will have to play their best.
When Philadelphia has won in this series it has been largely due to their terrific defense. The 76ers were ranked in the top five in defense in the NBA all year, and most people don’t realize how solid this group is on the defensive end.
They have controlled the boards in most of the games, and they are getting out and running whenever they have the opportunity. Philadelphia needs big games out of their point-forwards Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner.
Both of these guys have unique skill sets and they are tough matchups for the Celtics.
Boston led 36-33 at halftime in Game Six, but they looked terrible in the second half. The Celtics looked tired and slow against the young Sixers. The two days of rest before Game Seven will certainly help the Celtics, but they must come out focused and ready to go.
Boston shot a miserable 33.3% from the floor in Game Six. Brandon Bass was the hero in Game Five, but he was just 4 for 14 from the floor in Game Six. Rajon Rondo was 4 for 14, and he only had six assists. Only Kevin Garnett has consistently produced on the offensive end throughout this series.
Rondo must be fully engaged, and Paul Pierce needs to be aggressive getting to the rim if the Celtics are going to win this one.
The Celtics know this is one of their last chances to win with the current group, and I expect them to pull out a close win. Still, the best value is likely the under in what I expect to be a tight game.
Free NBA Pick: Under 170.5