Celtics Have Eked Out Wins in Series Thus Far
The Boston Celtics battle the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup at Wells Fargo Center. The Celtics enjoy a 3-0 lead in the series. They would love nothing better than to rub salt in the wounds of the Sixers and their fans. Don’t expect the 76ers to do down easy.
Oddsmakers opened the 76ers as -6-point favorites versus the Celtics, while the game’s total opened at 204.5. The line now is Boston -7 and the total is at 205.5.
It’s not as if Boston has dominated the series thus far. The 76ers led by 22 points in a 108-103 loss in Game .2 They led Game 3 by six late in the second quarter and eventually lost in overtime.
Ben Simmons Needs to Become a Force Once Again
Ben Simmons needs to come back out of his shell. He has to play as the triple-double force he was late in the regular season. After scoring just one point in Game 2, Simmons had 16, with eight rebounds and eight steals in Game 2.
The problem was he also turned the ball over four times and had a plus/minus ratio of negative-11.
Simmons missed a critical shot at just the wrong time. Which is because of inexperience. With less than 30 seconds left in overtime, Joel Embiid missed a jumper. Simmons rebounded the ball with 18 seconds left on the clock.
Rather than milk the time, Simmons tried a put-back. He missed, and Boston’s Marcus Morris grabbed the rebound.
Al Horford scored with 5.5 seconds left to put the Celtics up.
Celtics Need Their Own Rookie to Keep Producing
Simmons may be struggling in his first second-round series, Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum continues to shine. Tatum scored 24 points on 11 for 17 shooting in Game 3. He scored 21 in Game 2 and 28 in Game 1.
During the playoffs he has seven 20-point games. Includi9ng five straight. You can throw in a 19-point game, as well, for good measure.
Tatum is averaging 24.3 points in the series. Terry Rozier continues to shine while leading the team in scoring during the playoffs at 19.0 a pop. He has provided 22.3 per game the past three.
Rozier, who averaged 11.3 points in the regular season, is 18-for-34 from behind the arc over the last four games.
Horford scored seven of his 13 points in overtime. He had a key steal in the final seconds that smothered out a chance for Philadelphia to win the game.
76ers and Celtics NBA Playoffs Betting Trends
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Boston home to Philadelphia Wednesday, May 9
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