NBA Handicapping Predictions – Celtics vs 76ers
The Boston Celtics may not have shown up ready to play in the first two games of the series, but they were at their best in Game Three.
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NBA Basketball Matchup: #4 Boston Celtics (2-1) vs. #8 Philadelphia 76ers (1-2)
Date/Time: May 18, 7:00 PM EST on ESPN
NBA Gambling Odds from JustBet
NBA Betting Favorite: 76ers -2
Boston thumped the 76ers 107-91 Wednesday night in Philadelphia to take a 2-1 series lead.
Game Four is critical for the 76ers, as it is hard to imagine them winning this series without winning this game.
Paul Pierce struggled through the first two games, but he stepped up and was a leader in Game Three. Pierce had 24 points and 12 rebounds in Game Three, and his aggression really set the tone for his team. Kevin Garnett has been a monster in the postseason, and he continued his amazing play.
Garnett had 27 points and 13 rebounds Wednesday night. Rajon Rondo was at his best as well. Rondo scored 23 points and dished out 14 assists. Mickael Pietrus had his best game of the postseason. The Celtics show 52% from the floor on Wednesday. If Boston can continue to be that efficient on offense, there is no way the 76ers can win this series.
Philadelphia fans had to be disappointed by their team’s defense on Wednesday night.
Doug Collins’ team is known for its strong defense, but the Celtics shredded it in Game Three. On the offensive end, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes combined to shoot 3 for 18 from the floor.
Those two had been breakout stars in the postseason, and they’ll have to be better in Game Four if the 76ers are going to even this series. Lou Williams is shooting just 35% from the floor and 19% from beyond the arc in the playoffs. He was the team’s leading scorer in the regular season.
Slowing down Kevin Garnett is a big key to this team having a better chance to win against the Celtics.
The team that has won the battle on the boards has won all three games in this series so far. The 76ers have been pushing the pace when possible, and I think the best value play here is the over.
Free NBA Pick: Over 173.5