The Toronto Raptors lead the Philadelphia 76ers 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and will try to close things out in Game 6 on Thursday. The Raptors are still -2 favorites despite being the road team in this one.
Raptors Looking to Get Back
Toronto was down 2-1 in the series after dropping Game’s 2 and 3. They were able to respond with a 101-96 victory in Game 4 and then trampled the 76ers 125-89 in Game 5 on Tuesday. The Raptors outscored Philadelphia 37-17 in the second quarter and then capped the game off outscoring them 33-19 in the fourth quarter. The Raptors held a 21-point lead at the half and playing on their home court they weren’t going to give up a lead like that in the playoffs.
Pascal Siakam led the way for Toronto with 25 points and eight rebounds. Leonard scored 21 points and led his team with 13 rebounds. Every player in Toronto’s starting lineup finished in double-digits and Toronto fans need this team to keep winning. Nobody knows what Leonard’s plans are after the season concludes, but a championship or Finals appearance wouldn’t hurt trying to keep him in Toronto.
Philadelphia Needs Back to Back Wins
The biggest note from Game 5 was how ineffective the 76ers offensive attack was. Jimmy Butler led the team with 22 points and that was about it. Tobias Harris scored 15. Joel Embiid scored 13 points with eight turnovers. Ben Simmons was only able to score seven points and he coughed up five turnovers. The Raptors have arguably the best defender in the league with Kawhi Leonard, but with a team full of offensive weapons you’d think Philly could produce more.
Both of these teams have All-Star player “rentals” that will hit free agency this summer. Philadelphia dealt for both Butler and Harris during the regular season and both of their contracts are up. Philadelphia will need to pull out anything they can to slow down the Raptors and take this to a Game 7.
Outside of the obvious struggles from Embiid and Simmons this series, the 76ers struggled from 3-point land in Game 5. Philadelphia shot 6-for-24 from deep and just 41.8 percent from the field in general. J.J. Redick is the primary shooter from deep for the 76ers and he finished with just three points and 1-for-3 from deep. The volume wasn’t where it normally is for Redick’s 3-point game, so the 76ers need to drive the paint more, draw the defense in, and kick it outside to get more attempts from deep in Game 6.
Another underlying statistic from Game 6 was the advantage that Toronto had on the fast break. The Raptors outscored the 76ers 33-8 on the break. Much of that could be from a lack of effort from the Philadelphia players after the game got out of hand.
76ers Win Game 6
Leonard continues to score the ball at a consistent rate for the Raptors, as he is third in the playoffs averaging 31.2 points per game. The winner of this series will take on the Milwaukee Bucks who defeated the Boston Celtics in five games. In Game 6 in Philadelphia – we like the 76ers to win this game. Bet Philadelphia +2 over Toronto.