The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers are headed to the “City of Brotherly Love” for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Philadelphia now has home-court advantage in this series after stealing Game 2 on the road from Toronto. The Raptors will try to get some revenge on the Sixers in Game 3 and take a 2-1 series lead from their rivals.
Both the Raptors and 76ers feel that they can reach the NBA Finals this season, and this should be a terrific series throughout. Toronto dispatched the Orlando Magic in five games in the first round, and Philadelphia took care of the pesky Brooklyn Nets in five games. Toronto dominated the first game of this series, but the Sixers made the necessary adjustments for Game 2. The Raptors are a -1.0 point favorite in this game.
Raptors Need Points From Bench
The Toronto Raptors benefitted from having a ton of depth during the regular season, but that hasn’t been the case so far this series. Toronto got just five points from their reserves in the Game 2 loss, and this isn’t a trend that can continue moving forward. Serge Ibaka is averaging 8.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in the postseason, and he will need to be great to help his team win on Thursday night.
Kawhi Leonard has been putting on a show almost every game for the Raptors, but he can’t do it all by himself. Leonard is averaging 40 points per game so far in this series, and the Sixers don’t really have anyone that can slow him down. Point guard Kyle Lowry and forward Pascal Siakam combined for 41 points in Game 2, but it wasn’t enough to help their team win. Toronto has plenty of talent, but that talent must show up on the road.
Embiid Starting to Get Healthy
Philadelphia center Joel Embiid struggled to stay on the court in the second half of the season, but he appears to be finding his rhythm again. Embiid is averaging 21.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs but is capable of taking over a game at any time. The Sixers got 26 points from their bench last game, and their reserves could be key in taking a 2-1 series lead for them as well.
The Sixers might have the second-best starting unit in basketball, and one of their stars has been stepping up in a big way. Jimmy Butler poured in 30 points in the Game 2 victory and has been providing veteran leadership for the Sixers team all season long. Tobias Harris was brought in before the trade deadline and is pouring in 16 points per game in the playoffs. The Sixers will try to turn up the offense in this game.
Toronto Steals Game 3 From Sixers
Philadelphia should get a huge boost by playing at home in this game, but that hasn’t always worked for the Sixers this season. The 76ers have been incredibly inconsistent all season long, and that is going to show up again in this game. Toronto has the best player in this series in Kawhi Leonard, and he will lead his team to a Game 3 victory. Bet the Toronto Raptors -1.0 over the Philadelphia 76ers in this game.