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NBA playoff preview and tips: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics will play host to Philadelphia 76ers in game one of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-final at TD Garden.

Boston Celtics welcome the Philadelphia 76ers for the first two games of the series and they'll be looking to make a fast start to capitalise on Embiid's absence.

Whilst the Philadelphia 76ers made light work of the Brooklyn Nets, eliminating them in four games, Boston needed six games to see off a dogged Atlanta Hawks side.
Wrapping up a series early and having some extra time off can be advantageous, but the 76ers have been waiting in the wings for the past seven days. Not only will they need to shake off the rust, they'll be without Joel Embiid.
Embiid has averaged 33 points, 10 rebounds and four assists this season. His presence in the paint and rim-protecting abilities are irreplaceable for Philly. Boston is a healthy -10 favourite in his absence.
The saving grace for the visitors could be that they've had a long time to prepare for a semi-final without Embiid. Even if they can hit the ground running, they'll probably need season-best numbers from James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and co to keep this one close.
The problem there is that Harden hasn't put up big numbers in the playoffs and Maxey has averaged 10 points per game against the Celtics this season.
Boston's perimeter defence should be able to limit the 76ers and you wonder how they'll get good production up close without Embiid.
The Celtics combine the third-best defence with the second-best offence in the NBA. Jayson Tatum (30ppg) and Jaylen Brown (26ppg) and few teams have had an answer for the pair so far this season.
Al Horford pulled in 46 rebounds in the series with the Hawks and should benefit from Embiid's absence in that department. He also chipped in with 35 points and he could become an additional weapon in game one.

Standout Trends

Celtics are 34-16-2ATS in their last 52 against a team with a winning 60% of games.
Celtics are 8-2ATS in their last 10 games as a favourite of 5.0-10.5 points.
76ers are 2-6ATS in their last 8 playoff games as an underdog.
76ers are 0-5ATS in their last five games against the Celtics.

Suggested Bets

Boston Celtics -9

READ MORE: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics game two betting tips

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