The second-round series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 tonight, Wednesday May 16th, as the 76ers host the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Boston has taken seven of the 11 series in the playoffs against the Philadelphia franchise. NBA oddsmakers have the 76ers as -2 point home favorites over the Celtics with the over/under set at 172.5 points. Be sure to check the Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers Game 3 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the game tips-off.
Boston’s (5-3, 1-2 V) Rajon Rondo, whose eighth career playoff triple-double led fourth-seeded Boston back from a 10-point deficit in Saturday’s 92-91 win, had 13 assists, eight points and seven rebounds in Game 2. Ray Allen had 17 points off the bench and Garnett scored 15 with 12 rebounds.
Paul Pierce has not only been unable to get his usual shots, but also not getting to the line, having shot just 10 free throws, eight in the series opener. In fact, the Celtics as a whole haven’t visited the line much, shooting just 28 free throws, only nine in Game 2.
Instead of taking a 2-0 lead and needing just one win in Philly to have a chance to close the thing out next Monday at the Garden, the Celts are now looking at a protracted series. So even if they win, they lose a little. Even if they advance, they make wear and tear a greater factor in their debit column.
Philadelphia (5-3, 3-0 H) survived a frantic finish to beat the Celtics, 82-81, and even the set at a game apiece. Jrue Holiday scored 18 points, Andre Iguodala had 13 as the Sixers nearly let another double-digit lead go to waste before pulling away in the final minute. Philadelphia was a plus-21 with unheralded rookie big man Lavoy Allen on the floor. The Temple product finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and provided solid, if unspectacular defense on C’s star Kevin Garnett.
The real key to the Sixers’ success has come at the defensive end, where Andre Iguodala has made life miserable for Paul Pierce to the tune of Pierce shooting just 5 for 20 in the series. That, and the way Allen has made Garnett work for his shots, too. “Pierce, you have to make him work on every possession,’’ said Philadelphia coach Doug Collins, downplaying any talk of injury that might be slowing Pierce down. “When he comes off those screens, make it hard for him to get shots.
Philadelphia power forward Elton Brand has admitted he has been dealing with a neck injury and has been ineffective while standout reserve Thaddeus Young has had his game curbed by shin and right ankle problems.
The Bottom Line: The Celtics will rebound with the win. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NBA Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NBA Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
Celtics are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Celtics are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Philadelphia.
Celtics are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.
76ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Atlantic.
76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games.
Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Celtics are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 Wednesday games.
Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Conference Semifinals games.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
When: Wednesday, May 16th@7:00 PM EST
Pick: Sixers -2
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the tip-off.