Philadelphia 76ers vs Toronto Raptors (Game 2): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Monday, April 29th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Series Standing: 1-0 TOR

Philadelphia 76ers (Away)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 178-314 | PHI}

Season Record: 51-31, 3rd in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Ben Simmons – (G) JJ Redick – (F) Tobias Harris – (F) Jimmy Butler – (C) Joel Embiid

Top Performers:

  • (C) Joel Embiid – 24.3 MPG | 24.8 PPG | 13.5 RPG | .507 FG%
  • (F) Tobias Harris – 35.2 MPG | 17.6 PPG | 8.8 RPG | .500 3P%
  • (G) Ben Simmons – 33.4 MPG | 17.2 PPG | 6.8 RPG | 7.6 APG

The Philadelphia 76ers were pressed in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and they didn’t respond well. After handling the Brooklyn Nets with ease, they didn’t look to be in the class of the Toronto Raptors.

While the final score finished 108-95, the numbers flatter the performance of the Sixers. They were suffocated defensively and failed to contain Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam.

Considering not a single Raptor scored in double-figures outside of Siakam and Leonard, expect the Sixers to swarm the two stars and force Toronto’s role players to produce. Solving the Raptors defense will be a more difficult effort task.

Toronto Raptors (Home)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 58-24 | TOR}

Season Record: 58-24

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyle Lowry – (G) Danny Green – (F) Kawhi Leonard – (F) Pascal Siakam – (C) Marc Gasol

Top Performers:

  • (F) Kawhi Leonard – 26.7 PPG | 7.3 RPG | 1.8 SPG
  • (F) Pascal Siakam – 17.0 PPG | 6.9 RPG | .368 3P%
  • (G) Kyle Lowry – 14.2 PPG | 8.7 APG | 1.4 SPG

The Toronto Raptors came out on fire against the Philadelphia 76ers. Zoned in and focused to not lose another Game 1, the Toronto Raptors seemed well above the quality of the Sixers.

While the offensive showcase of Leonard and Siakam is notable, it was their incredible defense that drove their play. The Sixers couldn’t figure them out, as the Raptors had a help defender and a recovering player seemingly at every position.

The Raptors will want more out of their bench though. While their two stars were brilliant, as the Sixers adjust they will need more out of their role players in support.

What’s At Stake?

The Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers are two classic Atlantic Division rivals. The lop-sided nature of their recent histories are shown in their all-time record – the Raptors lead the Sixers 54-38.

The Raptors and the Sixers have met once before in the NBA Playoffs. Back in 2001 the Sixers pulled off a nail-biting series win courtesy of a Vince Carter misfire to lead the all-time playoff series 1-0 over the Raptors.

A win for the Philadelphia 76ers would bring the series even going back to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.

A win for the Toronto Raptors would give them a 2-0 lead in the series before hitting the road.

Jimmy Butler Is Wasted In This Offence

Outside of Joel Embiid’s play in the post, Jimmy Butler is likely the Sixers’ most talented player in isolation situations. However, due to Simmons’ inability to shoot the ball, Butler is relegated to spot-up duty.

With the likes of Harris and Redick on the court though, Butler is not even the most valuable option from deep on kick-outs (0-3 in Game 1). It has resulted in him being lost in the offense and unsure with the ball in his hands.

There is no suggestion that the Sixers will change their gameplan now. But seeing as they were dismantled by the Raptors in game one, Butler is the first they should look at to produce more. Whether or not he can do that with their current lineup is another question.

Marc Gasol Is a Problem

Gasol is an absolute problem, but not for the Toronto Raptors. His size and intelligence on the court are almost unmatched. His ability to defend was seen against Nikola Vucevic in round one and was on display again in round two against Joel Embiid.

The Sixers tried to match his size with Boban Marjanovic, but Gasol merely punished the giant by knocking down two three-pointers in his face. The Sixers couldn’t solve the former defensive player of the year, and the Raptors couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

Gasol held Embiid to 5-18 shooting on the evening and was entirely in his head. Embiid didn’t look aggressive and settled for difficult shots from the perimeter, rather than look to the rim. Should Gasol have this affect all series long, the Sixers would be in big trouble.

Where Was Ben Simmons?

Ben Simmons’ numbers flatter his actual performance on the court. While he was 7-8 from the field, it was mostly off of defensive breakdowns. While he only had two turnovers on the game, he was nowhere near the playmaker that he usually is.

All signs point to Kawhi Leonard locking down the talented guard, but that isn’t the whole story. Simmons’ inability from range allowed the Raptors to sit off of him when the ball entered the post. A lack of activity and crowding in the paint, stopped him from being an active cutter.

Head Coach Brett Brown has a lot to figure out before Game 2 rolls around. His team is lacking balance o the court and Ben Simmons is the quarterback of their offense. He was taken out of the majority of plays but is certain to feature heavily in their next game.

The Bench Battle Is Intriguing

Both teams are talented enough to get their shots in, and nobody is expecting a sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers. But as the series runs on, questions will be raised regarding the performance of both reserve units.

In Game 1 the Sixers bench produced 24 points to the Raptors’ 10. Much of the Sixers’ bench production was in garbage time, but to say either played excellently would be an overstatement.

When either team mixes up their starters with their reserves, the Toronto Raptors are better overall. The quality drop-off upon insertion of a bench player is nowhere near as drastic for Toronto as it is for Philadelphia.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

F Mike Scott – 23 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Heel) – Scott left Tuesday’s (Apr 23) game with a right heel contusion and will not return.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

F OG Anunoby – 13 Apr 2019 – Out (Appendix) – Anunoby will not return until the Eastern Conference Finals at the earliest, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

F Chris Boucher – 22 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Back) – Boucher was ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (April 22) Game Five.

X-Factors: JJ Redick (PHI) vs Pascal Siakam (TOR)

JJ Redick was the spark for the Sixers offense but none of his teammates could catch the heat with him. On the other end, Pascal Siakam was unstoppable in the paint and from range. These two respective players can really get their teams’ offense going.

JJ Redick

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 200lb (193cm, 90kg) | Duke | Exp. 12 Years

18.1 PPG | 2.7 APG | 2.4 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.3 TOV | .440 FG% | .397 3P%

JJ Redick was quiet in the first half of the Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors but seemed to get his rhythm going in the second half. After suffering two blows to the face from Danny Green, Redick seemed to wake up.

By the end of the match, JJ Redick had scored 17 points on 6-13 shooting where 12 of those attempts were from three. He is still one of the NBA’s premiere three-point threats, but the Raptors were glued to his hip.

Should the Sixers want to get off to a faster start, they may want to involve Redick more. As the Sixers try to encourage their stars in isolation, they are losing their off-ball movement. Redick is built to punish the Raptors’ post-defense.

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | 6-9, 230lb (206cm, 104kg) | New Mexico State/Cameroon | Exp. 2 Years

16.9 PPG | 3.1 APG | 6.9 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .549 FG% | .369 3P%

The performance of Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 overshadows the fact that Pascal Siakam had yet another star-making night. This time, carving up the Sixers defense and punishing them from range.

Siakam was 12-15 from the field and 3-4 from three. He posted 29 points and 7 rebounds on the evening. Spicy P, as he’s aptly called amongst fans, was unstoppable.

The Sixers are sure to pack the paint in hopes of slowing down Siakam. However the diversity of his scoring – one-on-one, from three, and in transition – will make it hard for Philadelphia to slow his production in any specific way.

Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

The Sixers have their back against the wall but the Raptors seem comfortable at home. If Philadelphia can’t slow the Raptors explosive offense or overcome their suffocating defense, they may be going home down two games.

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SportsbookPhiladelphia 76ersToronto RaptorsLink
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