The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers meet Friday in Game 3 of the NBA East Semifinals Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center. Let’s preview this game and give out a pick and prediction.
The Boston Celtics are averaging 120.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting and allowing 112.6 points on 45.6 percent shooting. Jayson Tatum is averaging 26.1 points and 9.8 rebounds, while Jaylen Brown is averaging 26 points and 3.3 assists. Marcus Smart is the third double-digit scorer and Derrick White is grabbing 3.3 rebounds. The Boston Celtics are shooting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc and 82.7 percent from the free throw line. The Boston Celtics are allowing 36.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44.3 rebounds per game.
The Philadelphia 76ers are averaging 103.5 points on 45.1 percent shooting and allowing 101 points on 46.8 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 21 points and 7.6 assists, while Tyrese Maxey is averaging 21 points and 2 assists. Tobias Harris is the third double-digit scorer and Joel Embiid is grabbing 9.3 rebounds. The Philadelphia 76ers are shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and 87.5 percent from the free throw line. The Philadelphia 76ers are allowing 34.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.8 rebounds per game.
The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The 76ers are 26-12 ATS in their last 38 home games and 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The over is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 overall. The under is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 overall. The Celtics are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
The Boston Celtics are the better and more trustworthy team, so they should be favored. However, the Celtics have also played down to their competition in these playoffs, and the return to Philly with Embiid back does make things interesting. Philadelphia has a great home crowd and guys like De'Anthony Melton and Georges Niang should benefit. Embiid looked good in his minutes and the blowout prevented him from logging anything heavy, so he should be fresh. The 76ers are more than capable of winning this game at home. Give me the free bucket.