Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics odds and point spread

by Steven Clarke May 2, 2018, 3:06
Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics odds and point spread

The season ended for the Bucks in a Game 7 against a team without its two best players. Forward Ersan Ilyasova mocked the fans of the Miami Heat after Philadelphia dispatched of them in the first round but did praise Boston's in the process.

The two teams will meet with an Eastern Conference Finals birth on the line.

Stopping the Sixers could be an issue for the Celtics, as five Philly players, led by JJ Redick (20 points), are averaging 16.5 or more points in the postseason.

Monday features just one NBA Playoff game as the 76ers and Celtics open their Eastern Conference semifinals.

The series begins Monday in Boston. And they were even more impressive (72.9 percent) in the restricted area during the first six games of the series. The Celtics are without injured star guard Kyrie Irving. Boston ranks third in defensive efficiency (102.6) and Philadelphia is second (102.6).

Brown's potential absence would sap the Celtics in their attempt to carry out one assignment in particular - putting as much size as possible on Ben Simmons, the big 76ers playmaker and frontrunner for this year's Rookie of the Year award.

Prediction: 76ers in 6.

Boston ranks 10th in points off turnovers allowed per game (15.4) while Philadelphia ranks 28th (18.4).

After convincingly beating the Miami Heat in five games, the Sixers will surely give Boston problems.

And now, take away Jaylen Brown and the Celtics somehow still rally.

They ended up with a flawless 4-0 record both straight up and against the spread at home in the first round and have gone an impressive 8-1 SU and ATS in their last nine at TD Garden overall, dating back to the regular season. The 76ers dominated from opening tip and led by 18 going into the fourth.

All-Star big man Al Horford, who had 26 massive points of his own in Game 7 and has a huge matchup with Embiid looming, is also a major barometer for how the Celtics will fare. "Let's gooooooooo", wrote Philadelphia super fan Kevin Hart, who spent the 76ers' last series trading barbs with Dwyane Wade. He is heading to Boston and has the chance to really show how talented he is. Brown had said he was going to have an MRI and Stevens said tests were negative.

It recalls a rivalry so intense that Larry Bird and Julius Erving once came to blows in a 1984 regular season game.

Some may attribute this to head coach Brad Stevens's ability to turn any roster into a contender.

Philadelphia ranks eighth in points in the paint per game (47.1) while Boston ranks 29th (40.1).

Jaylen Brown strained his right hamstring in the second quarter of Saturday's Game 7 win over Milwaukee, didn't return in the second half, and was still tight yesterday.

Rozier is averaging a team-high 36 minutes per game in the playoffs.

Embiid scored 31 points with 13 rebounds for Philadelphia.

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