Celtics/Sixers POWER-HOUSE ~ 6-1 NBA Playoff Run! Had Boston Gm 1!
Philadelphia vs. Boston,
05/03/2018 20:30 EDT,
Score: 103 - 108
Total: -105/+206 Under
8* Under Sixers/Celtics (8:35 ET): Well, I "struck gold" in Game 1 of this series, cashing the Celtics as home underdogs. They won 117-101 (closed +4.5), holding the previously red hot Sixers to just 42.2% shooting. Head coach Brad Stevens rightly deserves all the accolades heaped upon him, especially considering all the personnel Boston was w/o in Game 1. Kyrie Irving is of course out for the entire postseason and Jaylen Brown didn't play either. Of course, this team's calling card all season long has been its defense as they ranked #1 in efficiency on that end of the floor during the regular season. The loss of Irving really doesn't hurt them at all in that regard. But it obviously hampers them offensively and while Boston has found ways to have some big scoring nights in this postseason, I don't think Game 2 will be one of them. Take the Under.
Brown had been upgraded to probable for Game 2, but has since been downgraded to doubtful on Wednesday afternoon. Keep an eye on his status. Regardless, this Under play will stand. If Brown does play, expect some rust and him not to be all that effective on the offensive end. Given that the swingman is averaging 17.9 PPG this postseason, his loss will be felt. But then again, that average is heavily skewed by a 34-point effort in Game 4 of the last series. This Celtics team did not shoot particularly well vs. the Bucks in Round 1 (only two games above 42.0 FG%), so needless to say I don't see a repeat of their 48% shooting from Game 1 of this series. I especially don't see them shooting 17 of 36 again from three-point range or 18 of 19 from the FT line. The Over is 10-2 the Celtics' last 12 games overall, but that's a trend I see reversing itself moving forward.
While Boston should certainly be commended for its Game 1 performance, the truth of the matter is that Philadelphia was highly unlikely to continue its torrid pace, which had seen them win 18 of 19 games. The cold reality is they've shot below 43% from the field in four of the past five games anyway. As stated above, they are now dealing with the #1 team in defensive efficiency during the regular season. In five meetings w/ the Celtics this season, the Sixers have yet to top 103 pts in any of them. They've also shot 42.2% of worse in four of them. Joel Embiid was quick to tout Game 1 as not being "representative" of what the team is capable of, and while that might be true against most teams, I'm not sure it applies to facing the Celtics. Embiid himself struggled in Game 1 as he continues to get used to the new offense the team is playing. The Under is 10-4 this season for Philadelphia if they allowed 115+ pts the previous game. 8* Under Sixers/Celtics