The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are competing in a first-round playoff series in the Eastern Conference. Many predicted that this would be an extremely entertaining series that could go both ways.
That has yet to be the case so far as the Boston Celtics have won the first two games. Game 1 was a much closer affair, but the Celtics blew out the Sixers in their Game 2 win.
Philadelphia will be looking to pick up a win in Game 3 to put some pressure on the Boston Celtics. The Celtics will be looking for a third straight win to push the 76ers to the brink of elimination.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Boston Celtics at 5.0-point favorites over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
Young Stars Leading Celtics
The Boston Celtics have a solid mix of young stars and proven veterans, but it has been the younger players that are leading the way in these playoffs. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have both carried this offense at times, and they are a matchup problem for the Sixers.
Jayson Tatum is averaging 32.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game so far in this series, and he has shown off his outside shooting skills as well. Jaylen Brown has chipped in with 24.5 points per game, and he was huge down the stretch in the Game 1 win.
The Celtics have also made 29 total three-point shots through the first two games, and they are a hard team to beat when that is happening. Boston is playing the remainder of this series without Gordon Hayward after the veteran suffered a bad ankle injury in the Game 1 victory.
Embiid Needs Help From Sixers
If the Philadelphia 76ers are going to find a way to play themselves back into this series, they will need some role players to step up. The Sixers are playing without point guard Ben Simmons due to injury, and that loss has proven to be a big blow, especially on offense.
All-Star center Joel Embiid has done his best to carry the Sixers in this series, but he simply can’t do it alone. Embiid is averaging 30.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in the two losses, but the Celtics seem content to let him dominate the paint while trying to slow down others.
Philadelphia is shooting less than 30 percent from the three-point line in this series, and they will have to make shots to pick up their first win. Tobias Harris is one of the players that will need to step up his play, and he has the ability to provide a big night on offense.
Celtics Take Commanding Series Lead
These two teams have built up a nice rivalry in recent seasons, but this series has yet to look competitive. Both teams are missing a key player in this series, but it has not slowed down the Boston Celtics.
Playing without Ben Simmons has hurt the Sixers on both offense and defense, and it doesn’t look like they will be able to recover. Joel Embiid has continued to put up huge numbers in this series, but he just doesn’t have enough help.
Boston looks like a team ready to make a deep playoff run, and they aren’t going to mess around in this game. The Celtics will be looking to take a commanding lead in this series, and they will push the Sixers to the brink of elimination.
Bet the Boston Celtics -5.0 over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 on Friday night.