On Wednesday, August 19th, the Philadelphia 76ers (43-30) take on the Boston Celtics (48-24) in game two of the Eastern Conference playoff series. The Celtics took the opening contest, 109-101, in a closely contested matchup. The game will be played inside ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
Tipoff for the playoff game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST and can be seen on TNT. Oddsmakers place the Celtics as a -4.5 favorite to move ahead 2-0 in the first-round series.
What to Know – Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers gave it everything they had throughout the entire game playing without star Ben Simmons. The plan was to let Joel Embiid use his athletic ability to overpower the Celtics defense.
Embiid succeeded, scoring a team-high 26 points (8-of-15 shooting) and collecting 16 rebounds. It wasn’t all good for the center, as he had just one assist to five turnovers and did not score for the final 11:36 of the game.
Josh Richardson (7-of-17 shooting) and Alec Burks (6-of-15) added 18 points in the loss. The 101 points scored was the 76ers lowest total since the league restart. Philly did not shoot well from the 3-point line, shooting just 30% (9-of-30) from beyond the stripe.
If the Sixers want to win, they will also need to do a better job of protecting the basketball. Philly turned it over 18 times in Monday’s loss compared to only seven by the Celtics.
What to Know – Boston Celtics
The Celtics came out victorious on Monday behind the hot-hand of Jayson Tatum. Tatum shot 10-of-21 shooting from the field, providing career playoff highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Jaylen Brown provided 29 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Brown scored 15 of those points in the fourth quarter. Kemba Walker also chipped in 19 points while adding a team-high five assist. Like Brown, Walker did most of his damage in the fourth quarter pouring in 11 of his 15 points.
The victory was sweet, but there was a bit of bad news that came from Game 1. Small forward Gordon Heyward suffered a sprained right ankle that will keep him sidelined for at least the remainder of the series. Heyward provided the Celtics with 12 points in the opener.
The Celtics scored 21 points off of those 18 turnovers by the 76ers.
The Pick is In
Game one was back-and-forth for a majority of the contest before the Celtics pulled away late in the final quarter. Game two should be no different. Embiid will continue to be a major problem for the Celtics defensively. The game was very even from an offensive shooting standpoint, with the only outlier being the number of turnovers committed by Philly.
If the 76ers can limit that number, they have a chance at winning Game 2. We think the 76ers will again keep this one close and will take Philadelphia +4.5 points in game two.