The Boston Celtics got ahead 1-0 in their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers with a win in Game 1, but it wasn’t any easy to pull off for Brad Stevens’ squad, which will have to brace for a possible huge fightback by the Joel Embiid and company this coming Wednesday. Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 2 on August 19, 2020
Where: Walt Disney World, Orlando
When: Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 6:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TNT
Betting on the Philadelphia 76ers (+4.5)
Regular Season Record: 42-30
The Sixers were determined to beat Boston in Game 1 despite not having Ben Simmons. Their plan was to let Joel Embiid loose against the Celtics’ middling frontcourt, but while he dominated, the Sixers still fell to Boston on Monday, 109-101. Embiid powered his way into a 26-point night, and he also had 16 rebounds. The loss may be disheartening to Philly, but it showed that the Celtics don’t have an answer to the Cameroonian. Embiid also got help from Josh Richardson and Alec Burks, who scored 18 points apiece, the latter coming off the bench. Don’t expect the Sixers to keep their focus away from pounding the rock to Embiid, who will always be surrounded by shooters to stretch the floor for their big guy. What’s important now for Philly is to shoot better from deep after sinking just 33.3 percent of their 3-pointers in Game 1. Tobias Harris, for one, went all bricks on his three outside attempts. More importantly, the Sixers have to be more careful with the leather, as they committed 18 turnovers to just seven by Boston.
The Sixers are 3-2 against the spread in their last five games.
Betting on the Boston Celtics (-4.5)
Regular Season Record: 48-24
The Celtics were simply too much for Philadelphia, particularly the duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Brown dropped 29 points in Game 1 to go with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Tatum, on the other hand, erupted for 32 points and had 13 rebounds and three blocks. As you can see on their stats, Tatum and Brown wreaked havoc on offense and on defense. Their defense was a big reason why Philly had a hard time executing from the top, as they constantly got in the way of the passing lanes and had their hands on Sixers perimeter players’ faces. The biggest challenges for the Sixers in this series are mostly on their biggies, Daniel Theis, Robert Williams, and Enes Kanter, as they try to slow down Embiid. The Sixers center is impossible to neutralize completely, but if they can cut his production by at least a few points every game from his season average, then that’s something that can be considered a massive success. Also worth noting for Boston is the ankle injury Gordon Hayward suffered in Game 1. It doesn’t look too serious, but watch out for any developments with regards to his status ahead of Game 2.
The Celtics are 4-2 against the spread in their last six games.
The Sixers win, 110-109.
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