After a disastrous Game 2 for the Philadelphia 76ers, it is time to return to Philadelphia and the Wells Fargo Center for the next two. Game 3 has a make-or-break feel as the series is knotted up 1-1. Let Game-Time Sharks Philadelphia tell you what to expect ahead of this pivotal Game 3 matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics.
Game 2 Recap
The Sixers are going to need a short memory after getting blown out by 34 points in Game 2. After stealing Game 1 and Joel Embiid announcing his return after receiving the MVP award, Philadelphia seemed to have all of the momentum going into Game 2. Boston had other plans, however.
Embiid only scored 15 points on nine shot attempts in 26 minutes played. Although Embiid showed defensive prowess with five blocks, he seemed limited by the brace on his right knee.
After James Harden’s throwback performance in Game 1, he could only manage 12 points on 2/14 shooting. The Celtics had a well-balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures. Starters for both teams were out of this game at the start of the fourth quarter thanks to an impressive third-quarter run by the Celtics.
Time and Place
Typically, there is an extra day’s rest in the NBA playoffs when switching venues, but not in this case. The Sixers and Celtics will only get one full day of rest despite traveling to Philadelphia for Game 3.
Friday, May 5th – 7:30 PM (ET)
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Current Odds, Lines, and Predictions
All odds courtesy of BetMGM: It’s Time To Change The Game
Philadelphia 76ers: +2.5 spread (-110), +115 ML
Boston Celtics: -2.5 spread (-110), -140 ML
Total: Over 214.5 (-110), Under 214.5 (-110)
— RedzoneRewards (@RedzoneRewards) May 5, 2023
Although Game 3 is being played in Philadelphia, the spread in this contest is questionable.
The Celtics handled the 76ers with ease last game, winning by 34 points. Yet, they are only 2.5-point favorites. The public is also heavily favoring the Celtics because they believe three points are not enough for the Sixers to cover, especially after their last performance. Because of this, I am staying away. This is a crucial win for both teams and I would not be surprised if this contest hovers around that 3-point spread all game.
There was also a timeout early in the third quarter last game where Doc Rivers was trying to get through to his guys. Doc emphasized that they needed to dictate the game and bring it to them. Soon after that timeout, the Sixers had a possession where they moved the ball exceptionally well that ended up with a wide-open three in the corner for Tobias Harris, which he made. Then the Celtics went on their run and could not miss a shot (but that’s not the point).
The point is that the 76ers looked all out of sorts with the return of semi-healthy Embiid and were not playing their game. I expect the Sixers to adjust and be a lot more aggressive at the start of Game 3, especially with the home crowd behind them.
The Sixers hosted the Celtics twice in the regular season. In the first quarter of both of those games, the Sixers outscored the Celtics 30-28 and 28-22. The Sixers also held onto the lead at halftime in both of those games. The Sixers desperately need to prove their performance last game was not who they are as a team. I expect this trend of early success at home to continue for the 76ers.
Philadelphia 76ers 1st Quarter ML: -105
Philadelphia 76ers 1st Half ML: +110
Fun pick (Signature Bets):
Field goal to be made at the buzzer of the 4th quarter to tie or lead the game: +3300