Gameday: 76ers vs Raptors Game 6, April 28

5 mins read
2
Coutresy: John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors have laughed in the face of elimination for two straight games, earning a shot to tie a series after trailing 3-0 for only the fourth time in NBA history. That hasn’t been done since the Portland Trail Blazers in 2003.

Game five’s preview successfully foreshadowed the chaos that would swirl around Philly following a loss. Wednesday was a hell of a day for media coverage, as Doc Rivers found himself predictably defending himself versus past demons.

Keep in mind that the 76ers still LEAD the series.

Things were much quieter on the Raptors side of things. It looks like Fred VanVleet will miss Game six, but Scottie Barnes Game one injury scare appears to be a thing of the past.

Three Keys

1. 6 Man

With mounting pressure on Philly to avoid a Game seven, Raptors fans could be a major factor to begin the game. Toronto is +12 in the first quarter over the last three games and have only trailed for 10:48 minutes since Game three. Another ideal start with the crowd going crazy could be damaging to what already seems like a rattled Sixers team. This is the type of game where players start bickering on the sidelines during a timeout if things aren’t going well.

2. Bench Advantage

The lack of bench scoring has been a season long issue for Toronto, discussed at nauseum. That hasn’t been the case in the playoffs, and the disparity is growing as this series progresses.

Game 5: 29-11 Raptors

Game 4: 36-27 Raptors

Game 3: 25-13 Raptors

Game 2: 24-14 Raptors

Game 1: 25-24 Raptors

Precious Achiuwa, Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young have traded huge sparks off the bench. That is especially crucial in order to win the minutes that Joel Embiid rests. Even when Embiid was playing in Game five, Precious blew by him numerous times. Boucher has multiple blocks in three of the five games so far. Young has been a swiss army knife, with his passing from the post.

3. James Harden’s response

Harden’s play has returned to the spotlight. He’s averaging 18 points and nine assists in the series, but is shooting only 37 percent. The Raptors have stopped overhelping on Harden, cooling off Tyrese Maxey in the process (11.5 ppg, 9-26 FG in Games 4-5).

Embiid wants to see something closer to the Harden that put up 26.8 ppg and 12.0 apg in his first four games as a Sixer. Harden had 59/50/90 shooting splits during that honeymoon phase, but saw a steep decline in the remaining 17 games of the regular season (36/29/89).

Philly media is now openly wondering if that Harden will ever return.

Embiid will need to lean on Harden more than usual because of his thumb injury. Will the former MVP come through on the road? Or will I be posting Zaza Pachulia’s famous video on Saturday?

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7pm EDT | TV: TSN 1/4, NBA TV | Radio: Sportsnet 590

Philadelphia 76ers Results, Lineups & Injuries

Previous Results

vs Raptors L 103-88
@ Raptors L 110-102
@ Raptors W 104-101
vs Raptors W 112-97
vs Raptors W 131-111

Probable Lineup

PF: T. Harris, P. Reed, P. Millsap
SF: D. Green, G. Niang
C: J. Embiid, D. Jordan
PG: J. Harden, S. Milton
SG: T. Maxey, F. Korkmaz, I. Joe, J. Springer

Injuries

Matisse Thybulle, SGOut moreBarring a change in his vaccination status, Thybulle will not be eligible to play in Thursday’s Game 6 at Toronto.
Charles Bassey, COut moreBassey (shoulder) is out for Monday’s Game 5 against the Raptors.

Toronto Raptors Results, Lineups & Injuries

Previous Results

@ 76ers W 103-88
vs 76ers W 110-102
vs 76ers L 104-101
@ 76ers L 112-97
@ 76ers L 131-111

Probable Lineup

PF: P. Siakam, T. Young, C. Boucher
SF: O. Anunoby, Y. Watanabe
C: K. Birch, P. Achiuwa
PG: S. Barnes, M. Flynn, D. Banton
SG: G. Trent Jr., S. Mykhailiuk, A. Brooks, I. Bonga

Injuries

Fred VanVleet, SGDay-To-Day moreVanVleet (hip) is considered doubtful for Thursday’s Game 6 against the 76ers, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reports.

Betting Lines

phi tor
-1.5 Spread +1.5
-125 Money Line +105
Over/Under
210.5

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.