The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers will kick off their 2nd round NBA playoff series on Monday night in Boston. Boston advanced to the second round by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in a very competitive 7 game series. Philadelphia won their opening round series over the Miami Heat in 5 games. Both of these teams feature talented rosters loaded with young talented players.
Boston will be playing this series without their two best players, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Philadelphia meanwhile got young star Joel Embiid back during their opening series, and will be at full strength to begin round 2. Boston will have home court advantage over the Sixers after finishing 3 games ahead during the regulari season. The Philadelphia 76ers are -3.5 over the Boston Celtics on Monday.
Boston Wins With Defense
The Boston Celtics were able to survive their round 1 series by playing excellent defense in their 4 wins. Marcus Smart brings the energy and intensity for the Celtics on the defensive end. Head coach, Brad Stevens, will have his team ready to defend the explosive Sixers offense. Boston must control tempo and slow the game down if they are going to win game 1.
The Celtics are led offensively by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both of these young players are going to have to have great games on the offensive end if the Celtics are going to keep up with the 76ers. Boston only averaged 13 turnovers per game during round 1, and will have to limit turnovers to eliminate fast break opportunities for the Sixers.
Philadelphia’s Two Headed Monster
The Philadelphia 76ers are led by young stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year award, and he was remarkable in his first playoff series. Simmons averaged a near triple double in the Sixers round 1 victory. Joel Embiid returned for game 3 during round 1, and the 76ers looked like a new team with him on the floor. Embiid averaged 18.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game after his return.
Philadelphia also has a roster full of terrific shooters around their two stars. The Sixers averaged over 11 three point field goals made per game, while shooting 36% from deep. The Celtics will be extremely physical with the Sixers, but their ability to knock down shots will alleviate some of the pressure.
Boston Can’t Keep Up
The Boston Celtics will have a game plan ready to attempt to slow down Simmons and the Sixers. Boston plays extremely physical and will try to get in the heads of the young Philadelphia stars. If Boston is able to limit possessions and slow the game down, then they will have a great shot of taking game 1.
Philadelphia appears to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Their confidence is sky high after easily dispatching the veteran Miami Heat team. Look for Simmons and Embiid to be too much for the Celtics to try and defend. Philadelphia will head in to Boston and steal game 1 of this series. Bet the Philadelphia 76ers -3.5 over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Playoffs on Monday.