Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Game 1 Odds, Analysis, NBA Betting Pick

Gwen Vasquez
May 2, 2018

Whatever the reason, the Celtics have managed to squeak by the Bucks and move on to the second round.

The Boston Celtics outscored the Philadelphia 76ers in each quarter to win easily, 117-101.

In the final regular season matchup between the two teams Philadelphia was finally able to defeat the Celtics.

Joel Embiid - Despite missing a good chunk of time due to his facial injury, Embiid hardly looked like he missed a beat against the Heat.

Philly has had six days of rest coming into Monday night's matchup.

The Celtics haven't yet lost a playoff game at home this year, but they'll likely have to keep that streak alive without Jaylen Brown.

"Embiid is special and everybody knows that", said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. "We're going to have size and small and everybody else". We will be ready on Monday, ” he replied.

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Defensively, the Celtics made the Sixers uncomfortable. Yes, Boston is moving on to play the Philadelphia 76ers, but that battle with the Bucks was also an eye-opener for Green Teamers, proving it's not just LeBron James (for now), the Toronto Raptors and Philly who should be feared in the East going forward. Boston's starters outscored Philadelphia's starters 98-84.

There was no question that Antetokounmpo was the best individual player in the series, which saw Celtics' injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in spectating roles. Al Horford added 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Embiid and Saric are more mobile bigs, which will force the Boston bigs to expend more energy of defense. Ben Simmons had a brilliant series as he averaged 18 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists to lead the team.

The Celtics as a collective have to make Embiid work for every basket.

The Celtics are hurting mightily, probably the biggest difference between this team and the 2012 team, as age back then was by far more of a factor than whether or not their players were healthy. Philly is young and can score the rock at will. Boston, on the other hand, can stop teams from doing so and has the best X's-and-O's coach in the National Basketball Association.

The Sixers will provide a stiff challenge, though, and they're the favorite in this series despite not having home-court advantage. The Rookie of the Year candidate is making the most of his first playoff appearance, averaging a near-triple-double while shooting 50% from the field. In the one meeting without Irving they struggled immensely and only put up 80 points.

Eric Bledsoe may not have known who Terry Rozier was before, but he sure does now. The best version of Terry Rozier is the one that plays with a chip on his shoulder. "The thing with him is he can play inside, outside, he can handle the ball, he's a screen-setter, he's a guy in transition that can bring it up, he can run the floor, he can do - you name it, he can do those things".

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