It’s back to square one as they’re all tied up at 2-2. The Boston Celtics shouldn’t be fazed by fumbling Game 4 as they’re back home for the crucial Game 5, while the Philadelphia 76ers ought to be concerned which James Harden are they going to get.
Catch the game tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Boston Celtics (2-2)
Projected starting five:
- Marcus Smart
- Derrick White
- Jaylen Brown
- Jayson Tatum
- Al Horford
The Celtics’ Game 4 loss looked rough. They were up by five with under two minutes remaining but eventually lost in the extra frame. They had the last shot at the end of regulation and overtime and couldn’t capitalize due to dicey looks, perhaps because they didn’t call a timeout on both occasions.
Much has been said about those questionable decisions, but maybe head coach Joe Mazulla simply trusts his team? They have a deep team after all.
The Celtics are back in Boston and should be fine while being backed by their wild crowd. All-Stars Jayson Tatum (24.3 PPG in the series) and Jaylen Brown (23.5 PPG in the series) will be more potent, though let’s hope the latter gets some shots in the clutch time around. Brown had zero attempts in Game 4’s OT period despite being 10-for-16 for 23 points to end the fourth quarter.
Expect the supporting cast to stay the same, which means expect random hot spurts from either Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, or Al Horford – maybe even all of them. Brogdon, the Sixth Man of the Year, came off the bench to record 19 points eight rebounds, and five threes in Game 4.
The Celtics are averaging 116.3 PPG in the series.
AWAY: Philadelphia 76ers (2-2)
Projected starting five:
- James Harden
- Tyrese Maxey
- Tobias Harris
- PJ Tucker
- Joel Embiid
Game 4 was an ugly win, but the Sixers will definitely take it. They almost squandered a 15-point lead in the second half at home during a must-win game. It would’ve been virtually over had they completely blew it.
But, the focus now is on the stars because all have been hot-and-cold in the series, especially James Harden. ‘The Beard’ buried a game-winner and tied a playoff career-high 45 points in Game 1, but followed it up by shooting a combined 15-for-46 in Games 2 and 3, then redeemed himself with 42 points in Game 4, including the go-ahead three-pointer that won the game.
MVP Joel Embiid had 34 points and 13 boards but only shot 11-for-26 and had moments where he appeared tentative. He may still be iffy from his knee injury. Lastly, Tyrese Maxey is only contributing 13.3 points on 34% shooting in the last three games, far from the 26 points he had in the series opener.
The Sixers are averaging 106 PPG in the series.
Handicap: The Celtics (-7.5) don’t cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (213.5).