Celtics vs 76ers Game 1 Prediction NBA East Semifinals 5/1

Celtics vs 76ers Game 1 Prediction NBA East Semifinals 5/1

© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Game Preview: 76ers vs Celtics (May 1, 2023) Pregame

The 76ers and Celtics will renew their long-standing rivalry in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning on May 1, 2023. Boston has won the past five playoff series between the teams, including a sweep in the first round of the 2020 postseason inside the Florida bubble. However, this latest era of matchups has brought the history between the teams into perspective for the new generation. Both teams are loaded with talent on both ends of the floor and experience, making this series one to watch. NBA picks experts, NBA picks computer, NBA picks em, predictions, and NBA today experts are already weighing in with their best NBA bets today, NBA picks with spread, NBA predictions today, NBA picks for today, NBA picks odds, and NBA picks and parlays. The 76ers mostly breezed past the Brooklyn Nets in a first-round sweep but didn't get out of it before MVP finalist Joel Embiid suffered a sprained right knee and missed the final game of the series. Embiid's status remains doubtful for Game 1, and this could be an advantage for Boston who had an extended series against Atlanta, giving them a lot of time to recuperate after wrapping up their first-round sweep of the Nets more than a week ago. It remains to be seen how things will play out, but one thing is for sure: the rivalry between these two teams will take center stage, and the winner will have bragging rights for years to come. 


76ers: Offensive Analysis

The Philadelphia 76ers are heading into their Eastern Conference semifinals clash against the Boston Celtics with a dominant offense that swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Even though Joel Embiid's status for Game 1 remains doubtful due to a sprained right knee, the 76ers have enough firepower to overcome his absence. According to NBA picks experts, the 76ers rank 14th in points per game with an average of 114.7, thanks to their shooting efficiency of 48.5%, which places them 6th in the league. Also, their three-point shooting percentage of 38.8% is the best in the league, and they attempt an average of 12.7 three-pointers per game. In addition, the 76ers have a prolific free-throw shooting percentage of 83.6%, which ranks first in the league, and they average 20.6 free throw made per game, which is also the best in the league. Finally, they rank fourth in the league in free-throw attempt rate, attempting a free throw for every 4.4 field goal attempts. Their assists per game average of 25 also puts them in the top 20 of the league, and they have an effective field-goal percentage of 56.1%, which ranks 6th in the league. However, they struggle to get offensive rebounds, averaging only 8.9 per game, which places them 27th in the league. Overall, the 76ers have a formidable offense that can produce points in a hurry, and their long-range shooting and free-throw shooting could give them an edge over the Celtics in the upcoming series. 

76ers: Defensive Analysis

As the Philadelphia 76ers gear up for their series against the Boston Celtics, their defense will be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the games. Experts and computer analysis predict an intense series between two historic rivals, and the 76ers’ strong defensive capabilities should not be underestimated. In the regular season, the 76ers had the second-best defense in the league, allowing an average of only 110 points per game. They also ranked fifth in opponent points in the paint, highlighting their strong interior defense. The team’s defensive strengths are further solidified by their block and steal rates that landed them in the top 15 of the league. In terms of individual defensive players, Joel Embiid’s absence may be felt on the court, but the 76ers still have the likes of Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle to step up and make impacts on the defensive end. Harris was particularly impressive in the first round, averaging 2.2 steals and one block per game while Thybulle’s defensive prowess has earned him a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team. However, one area that the 76ers need to improve on is their defensive rebounding. They ranked 26th in the league in total rebounds per game, which could prove costly against a Celtics team that can dominate the offensive glass. In conclusion, the 76ers’ strong defensive capabilities have the potential to swing the series in their favor. If they can maintain their interior defense and improve their rebounding, they will have a great chance of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.


Celtics: Offense Analysis

As the Celtics prepare to take on the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, their offense is a major point of focus. NBA picks experts and NBA picks computers predict a close game, but with the right offensive strategy, the Celtics can come out on top. In terms of points per game, the Celtics rank 14th in the league with 114.7 points per game. They will need to improve on this if they want to contend with the 76ers, who have a strong defense that ranks 2nd in the league. The Celtics do have an advantage in three-point shooting, as they rank 1st in the league with a three-point percentage of 38.8%. They will need to make the most of this and take advantage of any opportunities from beyond the arc. Another key factor in the Celtics' offense is their ability to get to the free-throw line. They rank 4th in the league with a free-throw attempt rate of 0.294, and their free-throw percentage of 83.6% is the best in the league. The Celtics will need strong performances from their All-Stars, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who averaged 26.7 and 27.2 points per game respectively in the first round. But they will also need contributions from the rest of the team, particularly in the absence of Joel Embiid, who remains a doubtful starter for the 76ers due to a knee injury. Overall, the Celtics will need to capitalize on their strengths and minimize their weaknesses if they want to come out on top in this matchup. NBA picks and parlay experts suggest that the Celtics have a good chance of taking the win, but it will all come down to their performance on the offensive end.

Celtics: Defensive Analysis

As the Boston Celtics gear up for their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 1, 2023, defensive strategy will be crucial in tipping the scales in their favor. Expert analysts and NBA pick predictors have emphasized the importance of the Celtics' defensive prowess, particularly in light of Joel Embiid's doubtful status due to a sprained right knee. According to NBA picks and computer predictions, the Celtics have a clear advantage on defense, ranking second in the league for OppPoints/Game at 110.0. Their defensive strategy must focus on containing the 76ers' top scorers, including MVP finalist Embiid, James Harden, and Tobias Harris. Without Embiid, the 76ers may struggle to generate offense, making it even more important for the Celtics to capitalize on this opportunity. In terms of defensive statistics, the Celtics are also superior in OppAvgScoreMargin, ranking third with -4.6. The team must maintain a high level of intensity and pressure on the defensive end to limit the 76ers' scoring opportunities and prevent them from gaining momentum.  Through an understanding of Philadelphia's offensive schemes and a solid effort on defense, the Celtics can continue their recent dominance against their long-time rivals. As Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla notes, however, the team must also be prepared for the 76ers to step up in Embiid's absence and for other players to rise to the occasion. Regardless, Celtics fans can expect to see a hard-fought battle on both ends of the court, with defense playing a pivotal role in determining the outcome of this playoff matchup.


Injury Report

The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers will meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Monday. Both teams have had their fair share of injuries leading up to this matchup. On the Celtics side, they are relatively healthy with no significant injuries. However, they will need to keep an eye on the status of Joel Embiid, who suffered a sprained knee during the first round of the playoffs. As of Sunday, he was still improving, but his status for Game 1 remains doubtful. The 76ers also have some injury concerns, most notably with Embiid. Without him, the team may struggle to keep up with the Celtics. Another injury to watch will be a finger injury on Jaylen Brown's shooting hand. Brown played through it in the first round, but it could impact his performance in this series. Overall, both teams will need to stay healthy if they want to come out on top in this highly anticipated matchup. The Celtics will have a slight advantage in this department, but the 76ers have a talented roster and could surprise if Embiid is able to play. 


Betting Trends

Looking at the betting trends, the Boston Celtics have been a solid pick for NBA experts and computers alike. They went 4-2 against the spread in their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks and covered in three of their four wins. In addition, the Celtics have covered in six of their last eight games overall. The Philadelphia 76ers, on the other hand, have been hit or miss for NBA picks experts and computers. They went 3-1 against the spread in their first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, but were only able to cover the spread twice in those wins. The 76ers have also struggled to cover in recent games, going just 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games. Predictions for this game have been split, with some NBA experts and computers giving the edge to the Celtics while others favor the 76ers. However, with the uncertain status of Joel Embiid's injury, many are hesitant to make a definitive pick. It will be important to monitor Embiid's status leading up to game time before making any final NBA picks and parlay bets. Overall, the Boston Celtics seem to have the betting momentum in their favor, but it will be important to take into account the historical rivalry between these two teams and the potential impact of Embiid's injury on the outcome of the game. 



The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are set to renew their rivalry in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Monday. Despite the 76ers mostly breezing past the Brooklyn Nets in a first-round sweep, All-Star center Joel Embiid's sprained right knee will likely keep him out for Game 1. Boston has won their past five playoff series against Philadelphia and has a clear identity and experience that could give them an edge in this matchup.


Pick: Celtics (-9.5)

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