What once looked like a potential sweep is now an intriguing series as the Toronto Raptors bested the Philadelphia 76ers 103-88 in Game 5 on Monday night. The win was the second straight for Toronto, and a series that was started off 3-0 in Philadelphia’s favor is now 3-2 with Game 6 set to be played in Toronto on Thursday night.
It was a concerning overall performance from Philly, as they certainly didn’t come out with the energy, effort and focus that one would have expected them to with a chance to close out the series in front of their home fans sitting in front of them. More concerning is the fact that it was the second straight poor performance from Philly after they also laid an egg in Game 4. Instead of closing the Raptors out, they’ve allowed them to hang around and gain confidence, and they will be a tougher team to eliminate because of it.
With that said, here’s everything you need to know about Game 6 between Philadelphia and Toronto.
(4) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (5) Toronto Raptors
- When: Thursday, April 28 | 7 p.m. ET
- Where: Scotiabank Arena, — Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- TV: NBA TV | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: PHI -130; TOR + 110 I O/U 209.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
76ers: With Fred VanVleet sidelined for Game 5, Nick Nurse and the Raptors went big, opting for a starting lineup of Siakam, Onunoby, Trent Jr., Birch and Barnes. Trent Jr. is the shortest out of those players at 6’5″. Off the bench, Toronto only played three guys (not including the final minute of garbage time) — Thaddeus Young, Chris Boucher and Achiuwa. Those guys are all at least 6’8′.
In other words, Toronto had an extremely large lineup out there for the entirety of the game, and it flustered Philadelphia. The Sixers struggled to penetrate into the paint as they did earlier in the series, and they also had a hard time getting off clean looks. This is reflected by the fact that they shot just 38 percent from the field and 27 percent from long range. Toronto’s size also led to turnovers — 15 of them by the Sixers. VanVleet is unlikely to play again in Game 6, so the Sixers will need to figure out a way to better contend with Toronto’s size if they want to close out the series.
Raptors: You would think that the team with the dominant center would win the battle of points in the paint, but that wasn’t the case in Game 5. Despite Embiid’s presence on the floor, Toronto outscored Philadelphia by 20 (56-36) in the paint. The Raptors consistently got to the rim, and once there, they finished. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Raptors converted 24 of their 28 attempts within four feet of the basket. The Sixers had 29 such attempts but converted only 18 of them. Look for Toronto to try to duplicate the success they had in the painted area in Game 5.
The Raptors certainly have the momentum, but the Sixers still have the best player in the series in Embiid, even if he is hampered by his thumb injury. You have to image that Embiid — and the Sixers as a whole — will come out motivated to take care of business and close out the series after failing to capitalize on their last two opportunities to do so. Pick: 76ers – 1.5