Philadelphia 76ers vs Toronto Raptors 4/23/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Matchup Preview (4/23/22)

No team in the NBA has ever come back after being down 3-0 in a best of seven series. It is hard to imagine that this Toronto Raptors team will be the first; however, they certainly won’t want to get swept in front of their home crowd. The Raptors have Joel Embiid to thank for this significant series deficit. It’s not uncommon to go down 2-0 in a series if you are the underdog because the first two games are on the road, but losing that third game is a death sentence, and Joel Embiid was the executioner. In the final seconds of Game Three, Embiid came off a high screen, with the ball out of bounds, caught the ball, and hit a three-pointer on the left wing. Toronto did a decent job of contesting the shot, but this was poetic justice after Kawhi Leonard hit a baseline shot that had no business going in to advance the Raptors over the Sixers in the 2019 playoffs. They eventually won the championship that year. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be in the cards for the Raptors this year, but they can still prolong the inevitable. Joel Embiid’s injured thumb could cause some issues in Game Four, so check out the betting odds section below for my analysis on this matchup!

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

Toronto is not an organization that will hang it up so easily. It has established a winning culture, and I don’t anticipate it going down without a fight. The Raptors are slight home dogs, and I love taking them against the spread here. Embiid’s thumb injury is not the end of the world, but it is concerning. If he is only 70-80% of his usual self, he becomes somewhat mortal to a Raptors defense that has been excellent all season long. If Philly does not shoot the ball at the level it has in the first three games, Toronto has a legitimate shot at stealing Game Four.

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How To Watch

Date: 4/23/22
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON
Channel: TNT

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Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: James Harden
SF: Danny Green
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers Analysis

This series is certainly not in jeopardy at all, but there is some concern in Philadelphia. Joel Embiid’s thumb injury could present problems for the rest of the playoffs. The best outcome is for the Sixers to grab Game Four, complete the sweep, and get Embiid some rest so that his thumb can hold up. Either way, Embiid has stated that he plans to play through the injury, so we will have to keep an eye on that. Regardless, Philly has played unbelievably on the offensive end with a 52/46/83 shooting split as a team during this series. It is difficult to truly explain how incredible that shooting split is for a team; if they keep playing at this level, they could be extremely dangerous in an already tough Eastern Conference.

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup

PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: Gary Trent Jr.
SF: O.G. Anunoby
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Precious Achiuwa

Toronto Raptors Analysis

The writing is on the wall: it’s not the Raptors’ year to make a deep playoff run, despite getting hot at the right time of the season. However, that won’t stop them from fighting every minute of Game Four and future games if they win in this matchup. An unfortunate thumb injury to Joel Embiid could cause him and the Sixers to struggle a bit. Embiid has stated that he will continue playing, but there will likely be some hindrance to his game. Regardless, the Toronto Raptors have to take the metaphorical bull by the horns; it’s up to them to go out and win the game because Philly won’t just fold. In Game Four, Toronto has to defend shots better and continue to force the Sixers to turn the ball over. Philadelphia finished Game Three with 22 turnovers but shot a 51/42/75 shooting split as a team. Toronto has struggled to contain the Sixers despite a high ranking in all defensive areas. Toronto absolutely has to hold them to a more modest shooting night if it wants to avoid getting swept.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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