After avoiding an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Monday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will look to duplicate their feat and keep their season alive when they look to stave off elimination once again in Game 5 at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

If you’re looking to find out whether the Sixers can either get the outright win or cover the chalk as surprising road favorites, then let’s get to my expert NBA playoff pick right now!


Game Information

What: Philadelphia 76ers (57-34) at Boston Celtics (62-31)
When: Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 8:00 pm (TD Garden)
TV: TNT
The Line: Boston Celtics -1 -110 | -120 | U 204½ -110


Philadelphia picked up a season-saving 103-92 win over Boston on Monday night after inserting backup T.J. McConnell into the starting lineup and getting a career-high 19 points from the feisty floor leader.

Can 76ers Stave Off Elimination Against Celtics in Game 5 at TD Garden

“If I saw a lane, I took it. If I had an open shot, I would try and take it,” McConnell said.

McConnell’s presence clearly had a positive effect on his teammates while his nearly full-court defense on Boston star Terry Rozier threw him off his game a bit.

“You need to come in with a spirit,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. “You need to come in with a tenacity. T.J. epitomizes that, so we start him. To declare that to a team — and you’re fighting for your life — and to then put him in an environment that lets him do it makes more sense to me as a coach. You can’t do it a lot, but to put him in an aggressive mindset in an aggressive defensive format, and to deliver the message that I’ve just said, it equals something.”

Philadelphia also got 25 points from forwarding Dario Saric, 19 points and 13 rebounds from Ben Simmons and 15 points and 13 rebounds from Joel Embiid in the win.

Can 76ers Stave Off Elimination Against Celtics in Game 5 at TD Garden 2

Boston got another statement-making performance from rookie Jayson Tatum who scored a team-high 20 points while reserve Marcus Morris added 17 points off the bench. However, the Celtics got a modest game from Terry Rozier and Al Horford as the pair scored 11 and 10 points respectively.

Now, the Celtics are focusing on ending this series when it returns to Boston on Wednesday.

“Finish the game. Get it done,” Boston’s Jaylen Brown said. “Advance and do what we were supposed to do.”


Prediction

While I originally picked Philadelphia to win this series, there’s no way that’s happening now and I’m fully expecting Boston to close out the Sixers on Wednesday night to thwart any hopes of a stunning comeback.

The Celtics have yet to lose at home in six games this postseason and I just don’t see them falling to Philly in front of their faithful fans on Wednesday night. I expect Terry Rozier and Al Horford to both bounces back with fantastic efforts while Boston gets another outstanding game from sweet-shooting rookie Jayson Tatum and another good contribution from Marcus Morris.

Can 76ers Stave Off Elimination Against Celtics in Game 5 at TD Garden 3

I have no idea why the Sixers are stunning road favorites in game 5, but I believe they’re fighting an uphill battle to beat Boston in Beantown in this one. Back the C’s for the outright win and ATS cover as slight underdogs.

Pick: Boston -1


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