The Philadelphia 76ers (52-30; 22-19 Away) are at the Boston Celtics (55-27; 27-14 Home) for the second game of this best of seven, second round NBA playoff series. The Celtics, who are the underdogs, surprised Philly in game one by beating them 117-101 on Monday. Our Philadelphia plays Boston 2018 NBA playoff pick has the 76ers favored by 4.5 points. The over/under on the game is from 205.5 to 207. The game, which will be played in Boston, has a tipoff time of 8:30 p.m. E.T. Philadelphia needs this game badly, while the Celtics would love to take this one down too. They are after all 36-0 in playoffs series where they start 2-0.
In the 2018 playoffs, Philadelphia holds a statistical edge over Boston in just about every area. However, the Celtics have been better on defense, holding teams to 101.8 PPG. Philly has kept teams to 105.7 PPG. However, the 76ers are up when it comes to points scored (109.8/104), field goal percentage (47.2%/45.0%), assists (27.2/22.5), and rebounds (47.4/44.5). Boston is more accurate from downtown (37%/34%0 and a bit better from the free-throw stripe (77%/76%).
Six Philly players are averaging double digits, including point-leader Joel Embiid (21.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG). Embiid, who’s at center, is a genuine double-double threat on offense and a solid defensive player. He is 47% from the court and 39% from the three-point area. PG Ben Simmons, another double-double player in the post season, averaging 18.2 PPG and 10.0 RPG, has been good for 8.5 APG. He’s a 51% shooter from the field. SG J.J. Redick is connecting on 47% of his shots and 34% of his threes. He’s been averaging 20.0 PPG.
For the Celtics, SG Jaylen Brown, who’s averaged 17.9 PPG, is out. However, PF Al Horford, PG Terry Rozier, and SF Jayson Tatum are all ready to go. Horford and Rozier are each averaging 19.0 PPG, while the former is grabbing 8.5 RPG and the latter is making 6.6 APG. Horford, a 62% shooter from the field and 47% from the three-point mark, can hit from virtually anywhere. Tatum is averaging 17.0 PPG while hitting 42% from the field.
Our Philadelphia Plays Boston 2018 NBA Playoff Pick
In the first game of this series, the 76ers did not play well on offense or defense. They need their top players to step up tonight. Boston has nothing to lose tonight and should be quite loose. Weighing everything, including the loss of Brown, we’re going with the 76ers at -4.5. Our Philadelphia plays Boston 2018 NBA playoff pick also has the under at 207.0