|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAAlthough the Philadelphia 76ers have been on a hot streak lately, going 16-6 in their last 22 games, overcoming the Boston Celtics has always been a challenge. Boston is way up on the series between the two teams, winning 12 of the last 14 games. Can the 76ers turn the tide tonight as the two NBA programs meet in Philadelphia Friday night?
Sportsbook odds currently favor the Celtics as 2-point favorites. The total for the game is set at 191.5. The Celtics have seen their iron grip on the top of Eastern Conference start to fade away, mainly due to the ascendancy of the Chicago Bulls. Boston now leads the conference by only 1.5 games, and are coming off of a tough loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia has proven their ability to play basketball with any team in the league. They are 7-3 in their last ten home games, with the losses coming from some of the best teams in the league: the Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, and Oklahoma City Thunder. And the loss to the Thunder was a battle the 76ers lost in overtime. So they are very strong at home.
Boston is still getting used to the new players in their rotation that were acquired before the NBA trade deadline. None of the new players have really looked comfortable among Boston's big four yet. The Celtics can look forward to the possible return of center Shaquille O'Neal on Friday. But forward Glen Davis and guard Delonte West are still injured and will not play.
Until Carlos Arroyo, Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, and Troy Murphy really find their place on the team, Boston may see its lead in the East slip even further, if not disappear entirely. The Bulls look comfortable and fierce on the court, while the Celtics are having problems winning against the LA Clippers. If the new players begin to fit into the rotation, though, Boston may keep their lead.
Both teams have given up 100 or more points in their last few games: Philadelphia in the past five games, and the Celtics in four of their last five. Look for a high-scoring game tonight.