Sports

Sixers' Simmons gets some revenge on Raptors' Leonard

Sixers' Simmons gets some revenge on Raptors' Leonard

So far, it hasn't played out that way.

Toronto, however, was able to create successful schemes against the Sixers.

Maybe more Gasol initiating the offence from the post if he's guarded by Harris and a double-team comes; maybe finding more early pick-and-pop shots for Ibaka so he can't ease into the game as he tends to do.

Below is everything you'll need to watch Game 2.

Embiid and Simmons, the Sixers' two All-Stars, were tasked with clamping down on Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam, Toronto's Game 1 heroes.

Jimmy Butler, with 30 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot, became James. The Raptors were outscored by 17 in Norman Powell's 16 minutes. Fred VanVleet was solid at the defensive end but held scoreless over 18 minutes and Jodie Meeks didn't score during his brief appearance. He didn't have an assist.

"Yeah, it's big for us", Harris said of the rebounding advantage.

"We knew this wasn't going to be an easy series", Siakam told reporters after the game. "But it's been something that we've been trying to figure out for a few games now and starting the playoffs it's kind of the first time that we've had these types of lineups so we're still trying to figure out a little bit". But us three coming off the bench definitely have to find a way to be impactful and just be better than we've been.

The Raptors are 28-15 on the road this season.

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Game 2 came and went, as the Sixers evened the series up 1-1, winning in Toronto for the first time since 2012. It's not for a lack of talent, necessarily, but likely a product of constant turnover. Head coach Brett Brown said Butler was the "adult in the gym" and attempting to compliment him by saying that he was "James Butler" instead of Jimmy.

At least partially, that's been by design.

There is a different feel about this Raptors team now that they're in playoff mode. However, when faced with a familiar dilemma in Game 2 - stick with what's been working or matchup with the other team - Nurse made the same decision that Casey would routinely get criticized for.

Game 2 of the Toronto-Philadelphia series is one of two games on Monday's schedule.

Not to be underplayed was the fact that Philadelphia was making do with an under-the-weather Embiid who was fighting some stomach issues all day but, after an uninspiring pre-game workout decided to make a go of it. "I couldn't have asked any more of him". Nurse has opted not to counter by matching Gasol's minutes to Embiid's. Like really, really good, not just OK. Like, really really good, not just okay, like, really really good. He has been with me the longest. And then of course, when it's over, some of the suggestions and things I was thinking about doing, I wish I would have done. You always do that, right?

"But I think we played pretty well with this rotation, we wanted to try and stay with it as much as we can".

"My team had a lot of faith in me tonight", said Butler, who scored just 10 points in Game 1.

Kawhi Leonard couldn't do it alone.

It felt like this series might go a similar way after Game 1, but Butler scored seven straight points from the 2:55 mark to the 1:42 mark of the fourth quarter on Monday, almost matching his point total for all of Game 1. Facing a potential 2-0 deficit against a Raptors squad far superior to the Nets, Butler's fourth quarter was ideal timing for him and the team.


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