Saturday, 29 February, 2020


Raptors banking on 1 last momentum swing in unpredictable series with Sixers

Raptors banking on 1 last momentum swing in unpredictable series with Sixers Raptors banking on 1 last momentum swing in unpredictable series with Sixers
Noah Ferguson | 11 May, 2019, 12:06

In Serge Ibaka, Fred Van Vleet, and Norman Powell, the Raptors have three players who haven't only started games for them in the past, but also boast a wealth of playoff experience. That's not to say the Raptors necessarily want a half-court game; they're incredibly effective on the break, leading the league in points per transition possession in the regular season.

The Sixers were looking to react to a beatdown in Game 5, and Ben Simmons dominated proceedings early on, looking to make an impact following a fairly passive stretch of games. The 76ers defeated the Raptors 112-101.

"Both are very good ball clubs". The Toronto Raptors are averaging 104.6 points on 46.1 percent shooting and allowing 96.5 points on 41.1 percent shooting. "Not going to just let teams continue to embarrass you".

"I knew I had to come in with high spirits", Embiid said. "It's playoff time. But it seems as if they play pretty well with their backs up against the wall and we'll see what we're made of with our backs up against the wall as well next game". The Raptors are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 Conference Semifinals games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.

Game 7 goes Sunday in Toronto.

But there was none of that passivity in evidence in the first quarter of Game 6 as Simmons hit the boards hard, getting put-backs off misses and, when he wasn't finishing at the rim, he was effectively kicking it out to open shooters for easy scores.

Toronto got within 69-61 before the Sixers scored nine straight points, highlighted by a three-point play by Embiid and a 3-pointer from Scott.

That set up the latest swings - Toronto's record blowout win in Game 5 and Philadelphia's emphatic response on Thursday.

"It's not unlike where we've been a couple of times already this series", Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

However before Game 7 kicks off, here are three takeaways from the Sixers' huge win. Basketball is fun. I understand that it's Game 7, but we got to come in and fight, just like we did tonight.

"We had a lot of open looks early and we missed them", Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said.

Here are the top takeaways from Philadelphia's blowout win in a must-win situation in Game 6. "We lost some games playing their way, so it doesn't matter".

The expectation that the Raptors' bench would play a major factor in this series has actually come to fruition, but not in the way anyone anticipated. "Everybody was locked in", said Simmons, who'd had a lengthy pre-game chat with Hall of Famer Julius (Dr. J) Erving.

While the 27-year-old performance on Thursday was the worst in this series thus far, he still played like one of the game's best players and finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds in 40 minutes.

"From a head coach's standpoint I go to all those things, leadership, skill, and so on and there was just an adult in the room in a Game 6 close-out that has allowed us to go play and have an unbelievable experience", Brown said.

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