Pro Hoops on Friday night and we will see the Boston Celtics travel to Philadelphia to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised live on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Boston favored by 1.5 points while the total sits at 189.5. Check out Sportsbook Spy to see who the Public is taking on all of today's games.
Free Analysis: The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will get to know each other pretty well this weekend. The Atlantic Division rivals will begin a home-and-home set on Friday in the City of Brotherly Love before reconvening in Beantown on Saturday.
Coach Doc Rivers admitted that he enjoys these home-and-home sets, which are becoming more rare in the NBA. "It's like a mini-playoff in the middle of the season," he said. "I've always like those type of things." Rivers also liked the return of Rajon Rondo. Rondo leads the NBA with 12.8 assists per game and returned from a two-game suspension on Wednesday to score 17 points with 11 helpers in a 104-94 victory over Minnesota. Boston split the games without him. Pierce had 18 points on Wednesday as all five Boston starters reached double figures. That included Garnett, who tagged his former Timberwolves club for 18 points with 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett will play his 1,274th career game on Friday. That number ties Terry Porter for 17th all-time. Philadelphia won 106-100 in the first meeting between these teams Nov. 9 at Boston that ended a six-game win streak by the home team in this series. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points in that loss, Kevin Garnett had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, while Rajon Rondo dished out a season-high 20 assists to go along with 14 points. Boston has won 4 of the last 6 overall.
Good things have happened for the Philadelphia 76ers this season each time they have lost consecutive games. The Sixers try to avoid losing three in a row for the first time and kick start another winning streak when they host the Boston Celtics tonight. The 76ers closed out November with three straight victories, but have lost their first two games of this month. It marks the fourth time this season that Philadelphia has lost two in a row, but the club has followed up each losing streak with victories in three straight. Keeping Rondo in check will be the responsibility of Jrue Holiday, who has stepped up his play this season. Holiday, who is shooting a career-best 45.4 percent from the field, recorded 21 points and 14 assists in the teams' first meeting. Swingman Evan Turner has also contributed in many facets, although his 14.4 points per game represents a five-point jump from his previous career best. Philadelphia has won 3 straight at home vs Boston.
Free Pick: The Sixers may be 10-6 on the year, but it is certainly not due to their offense that comes in ranked 27th in scoring (92.8 ppg). No it has been their defense that has been winning for them as they have allowed just 94.6 ppg, which is the 7th best number in the league. Philly's defense has struggled of late, but their offense has put up just 88 in each of their last 2 games. The Celtics offense has not been that bad this year, but does come in struggling a bit as they have put up just 92.8 ppg in their last 4 games. Defensively Boston has allowed 99.9 ppg on the road, but after allowing Miami 120 points in their opener they have allowed 95.8 ppg (Regulation Only) in their last 7 away from home, while in their last 4 games overall they have given up just 89.5 ppg. This is a team getting better defensively. We should also note that these teams will go at again tomorrow night in Boston so don't expect them to go all out for this one. I don't think either team will hit 95 points in this one.
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NBA Free Picks: Boston at Philadelphia Betting
What NBA bettors need to know about Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers on Friday (12/07/12) - a free pick from Pregame.com's Marco D'Angelo, with Steve Fezzik and host Scott Spreitzer.