No Kyrie Irving Means Blowout Potential In Philly

Monday, February 11, 2019 8:18 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 8:18 PM UTC

The new-look 76ers have dismantled the Nuggets and Lakers over their last two games and now they welcome in the Boston Celtics, who will be without their best player.

Jordan’s NBA Picks: 36-18

Boston (35-21 SU & 27-28-1 ATS) at Philadelphia (36-20 SU & 27-29 ATS)Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST (TNT)Free NBA Pick: 76ers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Without Kyrie Irving for Tuesday night the Celtics will have to rely on some of their other young stars on the road. Will that be enough against this now very formidable Sixers starting five?

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Kyrie Irving will not play tomorrow against the 76ers, Brad Stevens said.

— Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 11, 2019
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Irving Out Vs. The Spread

Irving was ruled out early in the afternoon on Monday, so the line hadn’t even come out yet. However, what one has to judge for this game is whether the spread is too long or short based on the fact that Irving’s 20-plus points per game won’t be there.

Although Boston does get a couple points better on defense when Irving is on the bench, their offense goes from top tier to middle of the pack. When Irving is on the floor Boston is posting an offensive rating of 116.1 and when Irving is out or on the bench, that drops to 109.6 points per 100 possessions.

That is a significant drop and although the conventional wisdom is that the Celtics don’t suffer too much without Irving because of Terry Rozier, I think that sentiment is a little overblown. Rozier is a fantastic player and could probably start at point guard for more nearly a dozen teams, but Irving’s offense is in another stratosphere from Rozier at this point in their careers.

For instance, since joining the Celtics, Irving has a 56.9 effective field goal percentage while averaging roughly 18 field goal attempts per game. Rozier’s best effective field goal percentage in his career is 49.1.

That is a ton of lost efficiency and while Rozier is an improving three-point shooter, he is a steep downgrade from Irving in that department as well.

So, judging from the spread, it looks like the books want you to think that Boston has a chance in this one. They don’t.

The Sharp Pick

In my mind, the 76ers jumped past the Celtics in the East with the acquisition of Tobias Harris. In just a short sample size, he has proven to be a valuable contributor for this team at power forward.

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Tobias Harris has shot 58% overall and 63% from 3-point range in his two games with the 76ers. The Sixers have shot 82% overall (9-11) and 83% from beyond the arc (5-6) off of Harris’ passes and he's created the most points (22) off drives for the team the past two games.

— Jimmy (@_JimmyMcCormick) February 11, 2019
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His ability to stretch the floor and play pick and roll is going to be crucial for this team not only in this game, but in the playoffs as well. Simply put with Irving out for this game, the possibilities are limitless for how the Sixers can win and cover.

The Sixers are averaging 115.6 points per 100 possessions at home this season and with one of the faster paces in the league, I could see them pushing things against Boston. Without Irving, the Celtics’ game in the open floor will be limited some and they might not have what it takes to play from behind if Philly opens up hot. Considering the Sixers are the second best home three-point shooting team in the league at 38.3%, I consider this a strong possibility.

In the end, I think the books are being a bit too generous to the Celtics here considering they are just 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games. Boston hasn’t won ATS on the road against a team other than the Hawks in 2019. Continue fading and their disfunction on Tuesday.

Score Prediction: Celtics 105 – 76ers 116

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