The 2018 NBA Playoffs get underway earlier than normal tonight, beginning at 6 p.m. ET with Game two of what seems like a thrilling Eastern Conference semifinal among the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. There is also the next showdown between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers at 8:30 p.m. ET, a series which started with the Celtics pulling off a big win without increasing star Jaylen Brown in the lineup. Anything can happen and we have a great night of action ahead.
Oddsmakers are currently anticipating both Sixers and the Raptors after dropping their Game 1s to bounce back. Toronto started as a 6.5-point favored despite coming up just short in overtime on Tuesday night. The Raptors were chalk in that competition– they lost 113-112–but could not defeat a 13-assist outing from the remainder of the Cavs and LeBron James. They will have to turn things around fast to avert a visit to Cleveland in a 0-2 hole after losing advantage.
The Celtics are more underdogs because of their matchup with the Sixers, getting 3.5 points in Game 2 in the TD Garden. They did not allow the point spread dissuade them from ripping off a victory . Boston used a balanced attack which led to Terry Rozier (29 points), Jayson Tatum (28 points) and Al Horford (26 points) all putting up large numbers. It had been sufficient to conquer Joel Embiid’s 31-point, 13-rebound attempt for Philly, which fought as a group to knock down shots from the competition. The Sixers shot a just 42.2 percent in the floor and also an atrocious 19.2% from outside the arc, way below the Celtics notable marks of 48.2 percent FG and 48.6 percent 3PT shooting.