NBA Basketball Vegas Online Sports Betting & Free Picks Thursday May 3rd, 2018
Philadelphia and Boston Set to do Battle in Game Two of their Series
Most pundits and fans alike have been expecting the Boston Celtics to collapse some point soon in these playoffs. That’s how it typically is when some of your superstars are missing in action. And a team missing Gordon Heyward since game one and Kyrie Irving since mid-March along with a few others along the way certainly had every reason to fold up their tent and go home.
Instead what we’ve seen is a resiliency from its players and a level of coaching from Brad Stevens and his staff that is helping us to see that this is a special group and should be good for a very long time.
In their first round against Milwaukee they looked vulnerable as the Bucks came back from a 2-0 series deficit to force a game seven. But in the win or go home game, we saw that resiliency rise up as the Celtics made it look relatively easy in a 112-96 win.
But they had just one day off against a well rested Philadelphia 76ers team that came into this series healthy and winners of 20 of their past 21 games.
No matter, Boston had all the answers on both sides of the ball in a shocking 117-101 game one win. The stat line for the 76ers stars look pretty good with Joel Embiid finishing with 31 points, Ben Simmons at 18 points and JJ Redick with 20. But the Celtics play a special kind of defense and they exposed Simmons lack of a jump shot and that threw off the 76ers rhythm and three-point making ability. In the end they went just 5-26 from long range.
In the meanwhile, Terry Rozier is growing up right before our eyes playing the point in Irving’s place. He had another stellar performance with 29 points. He’s averaging 19.0 PPG in the postseason thus far and is shooting 62% in his last two games with 55 points to show for it.
The offense has been hard to come by at times for Boston this year, but they certainly seem locked in now that the games mean so much. It’s up to Philadelphia to see if they can answer the bell.
Philadelphia is -4.5 road favorites even though Boston is the higher seed and yet to lose at home in these playoffs. That speaks to the talent on the 76ers squad and the injuries Boston is facing. But Boston has more playoff experience and were one of the best teams all season. I like their chances to win -or at least cover- again. The Pick: Celtics 109-103.