The third game of the opening-round best-of-7 series between the 76ers and Celtics will take place in Orlando, FL, on Friday. And things are not looking good for Philly. This series might be over just as fast as it began on Monday.
The roster is mismatched, and without a true point guard to run the offense, there is no continuity on the offensive end. You just cannot help but feel bad for Joel Embiid. The Process is all but finished, with Embiid himself the only one still chugging away.
Boston has to be proud of their efforts, especially in Game 2, with Gordon Hayward not playing. He’s set to miss up to four weeks with the ankle sprain he suffered late in game one. They had several guys step up and play well when they absolutely had to. This series didn’t seem as if it would be as easy as it has been so far.
We’ll see if Philly can avoid an 0-3 hole. Because a loss all but ends the series. No team has rallied from 0-3 in NBA Playoff history.
The Celtics are 5-point favorites on Friday, the over/under set at 216.
Boston Looking to Stay Lucky
Luck has played no part in Boston’s wins, but the ball has bounced their way and not Philly’s a few times in the series. Third-year man Jayson Tatum is arguably a top-20 NBA player already, with his sidekick Jaylen Brown also dominating out there. Oh, and they also have an All-Star starter in Kemba Walker. Not bad, huh?
It is hard to say what it would take for a team to knock these guys off, but one thing is abundantly clear, it will not be the 76ers. They are facing a team that doesn’t have it together right now. Boston is a hard-working bunch with a great gameplan.
People tend to forget this is still Brad Stevens’ first NBA coaching gig. It only took until his second year to get his team to the playoffs. They have now qualified for six consecutive postseasons. Stevens is one of the best young coaches in the game.
Can Philly Survive?
After investing nearly $300 million in Al Horford and Tobias Harris last summer, Philly’s expectations were high. But they forgot that Horford plays best at center, where Joel Embiid is. And Tobias Harris is best as a power forward. They also moved Ben Simmons to that PF spot right before his injury occurred. So, if he was healthy, they would have even more of an issue.
They have plenty of guys who can knock down threes, but they have a hard time running offensive sets and getting them looks with screens and ball movements. It has been hard to see Embiid so frustrated over the first two games.
If they want to have any chance, they need to figure out how to best play as a team. And make sure Embiid dominates, not only on offense, but on D too.
Celtics Are Just Too Much to Overcome
Too Much Tatum. Boston will score another win and move within a game of another second-round trip.
Free Play: BOS -5
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