Raptors, 76ers retool ahead of playoff clash on Saturday night

Raptors, 76ers retool ahead of playoff clash on Saturday night

This off season will determine whether Brooklyn can stay in the upper echelons, or returns to the lower rungs of the Eastern Conference.

With fan pressure building and Sixers owner Scott O'Neil putting it out there that he expects the Sixers to advance beyond what they did past year, Brown could lose his job and this "Process" may have to hit the restart button. "Whatever your old headline is or what people think about you, make new ones and I took pride into doing that". "As long as we keep that defensive focus, we have enough guys to make enough plays on the offensive end".

They secured their first playoff win in franchise history by defeating NY on the road by 20 points, 94-74.

If he misses any time against Toronto, Philadelphia would be in for a world of hurt.

Toronto's win coupled with the 76ers taking care of the Brooklyn Nets sets up a potentially epic confrontation in the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the two. "He invests a lot of time in getting better and preparing for that next team". The Sixers were led by a 37-point, 13-rebound performance from Joel Embiid in the loss. They refused to let the Magic take too much of a bite out of the lead and eventually went on a 14-0 to extend it to 30 points, 88-58, with 4:03 left to play. Kawhi Leonard had an efficient 27 points on 11 shots, Pascal Siakam had 24 points as well, and Kyle Lowry delivered a masterful performance, albeit with a limited stat line.

He has playoff experience with the Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors and, most recently, the Nets. As for Gasol, see above.

Based on how the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs unfolded, it's clear Leonard wasn't blowing smoke.

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The former Finals MVP has been a nightmare for Simmons to deal in the two games they played against each other.

Despite the fact that he has undeniably grown at the point guard position, Simmons had his real struggles against Leonard and the Raptors this season.

With both players sitting out chunks of the season, Leonard for load management and Lowry with a back injury, they continue to develop chemistry. He is coming off a 27-point performance in Game 5 against the Magic, shooting 8-for-11 from the floor and a ideal 5-for-5 from the three-point line. We are witnessing the coming-out-party of a young combo forward in Toronto, and the Sixers defense won't have that many answers against him. That subplot will once again be put to the test in Round 2.

"I think they're totally different basketball teams", Redick said, when asked to compare Brooklyn and Toronto. The Raptors averaged 35.8 points a game from bench players this season, down from 41.2 last season, and the unit's effective field goal percentage dropped by almost 10 points. He was excellent in the Brooklyn series, but could be a poor matchup against Serge Ibaka, who the Raptors have been using as their backup five.

In what's bound to be a faster-paced series than what the Raptors have experienced so far, Fred VanVleet should have ample opportunity to get back into a nice rhythm. The Raptors really seemed to find their stride at the end of the series against Orlando.

"They're both defending really well", Nurse said. "But Marc is a great player, a great defender so it's going to be a tough series".

On the flip side, Philadelphia's bench primarily features Mike Scott - who was a nuisance against the Raptors in the playoffs last season with Washington - James Ennis and Marjanovic. Toronto's defence smothered the Magic after its Game 1 stinker and the team is embracing the identity of a shut-down squad now.