7 things to expect in the Raptors-76ers playoff series

7 things to expect in the Raptors-76ers playoff series

7 things to expect in the Raptors-76ers playoff series

The Toronto Raptors will be going for their fifth consecutive win when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the first game of their seven-game Eastern Conference semifinals series on Saturday night.

From Leonard's flu-like symptoms, which made him guardable for really the only time in the series, to a first half no-show from Serge Ibaka and then foul trouble throughout for a handful of Raptors including most importantly Marc Gasol, this was the game in which the Raptors showed the kind of grit and sandpaper they are nearly definitely going to need going forward.

The Raptors don't have James to contend with this post-season.

I'm not sure how I feel about this but it's hard to deny that Sixers fans would be pissed if Simmons or any other key members of the team were suspended for a meaningless fight at the end of a blowout win.

"We never made a push back", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said.

The Raptors as a franchise have had the propensity of losing their opening series games and for the season they were only 20-24 ATS at home. The series between the Nets and 76ers ranked first among the eight first-round matchups in pace at 107.6 possessions per team per game.

Huawei will build parts of the UK's 5G network
It has led to concerns among MPs as Chinese companies are legally obliged to cooperate with the state's intelligence agencies. The US has been warning its allies that it fears Huawei might be used by the Chinese government for espionage .

UK royals publish photos of Prince Louis to mark first birthday
The caption further revealed that the portraits were taken by Prince Louis's mum, Kate Middleton at their "home in Norfolk". Louis was sleeping soundly, as Charlotte put a protective arm around her baby brother and planted a kiss on his forehead.

Samsung postpones Galaxy Fold events in China to review screen problem
Samsung said it will make clear to customers not to remove the top layer, which looks like little more than a screen protector. For now, Samsung plans to keep its USA release date set for April 26 with sales beginning in South Korea and Europe in May.

How the 76ers matchup defensively is going to be a big question, as they don't really have an ideal defender for Kyle Lowry.

In many ways, the teams are quite similar. In their final 28 games, they averaged 13, 14th-most in the league. As for Gasol, see above. And with their nemesis King James out of the playoff picture for the first time in a decade and a half, the club now see a clear path to finally reward patient sports bettors as a +1000 bet to win their first-ever National Basketball Association championship.

If there's one matchup to keep an eye on aside from Gasol vs. Embiid, it's Leonard guarding Ben Simmons. As they showed at the beginning of their series with the Magic, the Game 1 curse has yet to be defeated. Embiid missed a game in the first round but looked like his dominant self in the four games he played. While he averaged 3.4 turnovers per game this season, he coughed up the ball 6.5 times when playing Leonard.

Speaking of Leonard, he'll have to continue producing at the ridiculously-efficient rate he has been so far in these playoffs if the Raptors plan to overwhelm the Sixers in this series like they did against Orlando. Philly will try to contest every shot from the perimeter - the Sixers finished second overall in three-point attempts allowed since bringing Harris into the mix at the trade deadline and fourth in opponents' trey percentage (34.4). That equates to an absurd 67.9 true shooting percentage, which ranks third among players with a 25 per cent usage rate or higher in these playoffs. "It should be a great series", Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said.

For the 76ers, once again, it was Joel Embiid leading the way on the scoreboard with 23 points and 13 rebounds followed by Ben Simmons with 13 points. Featuring one of the most talented starting lineups in the NBA, Philadelphia has multiple players capable of taking over a game. Exploiting Marjanovic by forcing him outside the paint is a tactic the Raptors should definitely turn to when presented the opportunity. Jimmy Butler recorded a double-double and Joel Embiid recorded a triple-double, but it wasn't enough to get the only thing that matters, a win. The Raptors' sixth man struggled with his shooting touch in Round 1 against Orlando, particularly from long range. Sixers forward Mike Scott - the hero of Game 4 in Brooklyn - is out with a heel contusion and plantar fasciitis in his right foot and was in a walking boot Saturday. Toronto's defence smothered the Magic after its Game 1 stinker and the team is embracing the identity of a shut-down squad now.

Related news