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NBA Thursday Playoffs: Preview and Picks

Wed, May 9, 4:01pm by Staff Writer

 Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

Thursday, 10 May 2018 at 10.10am AEST

The NBA playoffs are nearing the conference finals, with the Boston Celtics holding a 3-1 advantage against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers will be looking to do what no team has ever done in NBA playoff history in coming back from a 3-nil deficit to win the best-of-seven series.

Philadelphia avoided a series sweep on Tuesday when they beat the Celtics by 11-points.

Despite holding a 3-1 advantage, the Celtics start game five at home as $2.02 underdogs. The 76ers are $1.83 favourites.

Philadelphia has been a favourite in all five of the playoff matches the two teams have played, with Boston proving to be great value as underdogs.

The Sixers got tremendous scoring out of Dario Saric on Tuesday. The power forward has been quiet for much of the series, but scored a game-high 25 points.

Brett Brown shook up his lineup on Tuesday, opting to start T.J. McConnell instead of Robert Covington, with Ben Simmons switching to playing a forward role.

The move paid dividends as McConnell scored 19 points on 9/12 shooting.

The wily point guard has been a difference maker all series for the 76ers and was pivotal in the Sixers game two comeback, although they ultimately fell short.

The Celtics struggled to score in game four, after their offense sizzled in the first three games of this series.

Jayson Tatum led all scorer with 20 points, with Al Horford restricted to a meagre six field goal attempts.

Terry Rozier was also kept quiet, connecting on only one of his six three point attempts.

The Boston bench also struggled in game four, outside of Marcus Morris who scored 17 points.

Boston is undefeated in the playoffs this season at home and despite falling behind by 22-points in game two, they still managed to win.

The Celtics are 1.5-point underdogs, but all the value is with them as they look to close out this series.

The Sixers needed to win game three, a match they had ample opportunities to close and failed to do so.

Even if Boston loses this game it won’t be panic stations for them, but the raucous home crowd at the TD Garden should steer the Celtics into the Eastern Conference finals where LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers await.

Best bet- Boston Celtics to win at $2.02

NBA Thursday Playoff Odds – Sportsbet

Philadelphia $1.83 v Boston $2.02

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