Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview
Game 1 is in the books as the Celtics won 109-101. After a sluggish third quarter, the Celtics outscored the 76ers in the fourth quarter by 12 points. Boston took a hit with Gordon Hayward’s ankle injury and the reports are that he will be out for 4-6 weeks. This leaves the Celtics a bit thin as their bench was extremely ineffective in Game 1 and they do not have a lot of reliable bodies off the bench. However, the same goes for the 76ers who only had Alec Burks to thank for points off the bench. Game 2 is projected to be another close game as oddsmakers have Boston as four-point favorites. The total dropped a bit from Game 1’s, and the Hayward injury is certainly going to play a factor in the rest of the series. Game 2 is a crucial game for both sides.
Time: 6:30 PM ET
Arena: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Lake Buena Vista FL
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76ers Starting 5
The 76ers should have lost Game 1 by more as they turned the ball over 18 times. Philadelphia dominated in the paint but Embiid having just 15 shot attempts is a bit odd. Embiid was still productive with his minutes and he played a lot of them (37). He finished with a 26 and 16 game but struggled next to Al Horford who was -18 in the game. Horford and Embiid playing together have not been ideal for the 76ers this season. Philadelphia didn’t shoot poorly although they didn’t get much from three. Outside of Burks, the 76ers did not get anything out of their bench. Burks had 18 points off the bench and Thybulle had five. Nobody else played more than ten minutes or scored a single point. Both teams have some bench issues which is why Game 2 will one again come down to the starters.
Celtics Starting 5
It was a big win for Boston as they were able to grab a Game 1 win over Philadelphia. They shot 42% from the field but the big part of this game was the total of seven turnovers they had. This is compared to the 76ers 18 turnovers. Boston should have capitalized more but they had ten more fast-paced points than Philadelphia and were more efficient at the line. While the Celtics were out-rebounded again, Boston was able to grab 16 offensive boards. The Celtics will be without Gordon Hayward for the rest of the series and this raises some questions. Marcus Smart is likely the one to enter the starting lineup and shift everyone down one position, but this leaves Brad Wanamaker and Romeo Langford as the other guards off the bench. They also have Semi Ojeleye, but he didn’t see the court in the first game. Hayward’s absence will be missed and this will expose Boston’s greatest weakness, their bench.
76ers vs Celtics Fantasy Basketball Angle
Everything went about as expected from the last game. Jayson Tatum was able to capitalize on the matchup and Joel Embiid had a strong game. These two I would certainly go back to the well with. Given the other games on this slate for DFS purposes, I would much rather go there for offense. Al Horford and Tobias Harris are fine plays but not must plays. Alec Burks remains a strong value and he played 28 minutes off the bench in Game 1 with an 18-6-2 line. As for Boston, there isn’t a ton of options that I love, even with Gordon Hayward out. Jaylen Brown remains a GPP play as he won’t shoot as he did in game 1 every night.
76ers vs Celtics Betting Odds
76ers Odds: +165
Celtics Odds: -190
Spread: BOS -4.5
Boston come in once again as slight favorites by about a point less from Game 1. The total dropped about four points from Game 1 as well. The absence of Gordon Hayward is going to hurt the Celtics a bit as the bench really isn’t a strong suit for Boston. I like Philadelphia to cover here. It is hard to see Boston running away with this one and Joel Embiid should take the offense into his hands for this one. While the 76ers have not been a great ATS team against Boston or in general this season, to climb back into the series they will need this one.
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