Philadelphia 76ers vs Toronto Raptors 4/28/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Matchup Preview (4/28/22)
The Philadelphia 76ers (3-2) face the Toronto Raptors (2-3) in Game 6 of the First Round. Philadelphia held a 3-0 lead, but they have been unable to close out the pesky Raptors. The 76ers lost Game 5 103-88 because they had a team shooting split of 38/27/80. Embiid produced 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists while battling through a torn thumb ligament. James Harden had 15 points and 7 assists on 4/11 from the field and 2/6 from three. Tobias Harris added 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists, but he was 6/16 from the field. Tyrese Maxey played poorly; he only had 12 points on 5/14 shooting. The 76ers bench combined for 11 measly points, and Philadelphia had 7 more turnovers. The 76ers cannot put up 88 points and expect to win a playoff game. The defense was solid, but the offense needs to be rejuvenated. Defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle will not be able to play in Game 6 because it is in Toronto.
The Raptors are back in this series after it looked like they would get swept. Pascal Siakam shined in Game 5 with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists on 10/17 shooting. OG Anunoby had an all-around game of 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Rookie Scottie Barnes continued to play through his injury; he added 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Gary Trent Jr scored 16 points, while Precious Achiuwa contributed 17 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. Toronto was able to win Game 5 even though All-Star Fred VanVleet was out with a hip injury. He is doubtful for Game 6, but the door is not closed yet on his return. If he cannot play, the Raptors will move Trent Jr to point guard and start Khem Birch at center.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Odds
The current spread for Game 6 is +1.5 Raptors. I like the Raptors to win this game and force a Game 7. Joel Embiid’s injury is clearly affecting his offense, and James Harden has shot the ball terribly. The Raptors are +8 in FTA at home this series, and -36 in FTA away. With the 76ers likely not having the free throw advantage they usually enjoy, their offense will struggle against this tough Raptors defense. VanVleet’s injury hurts, but Toronto is compensating by playing their best players 40+ minutes. Fatigue won’t be too much of a factor because they have had two full days of rest. Doc Rivers is also not the coach I would choose to protect a series lead and advance to the next round.
The over under is set at 210.5 points. I like the under to hit because Embiid’s offense is hampered right now. The Raptors are going to stifle the 76ers ball handlers all night. The 76ers defense is still great though, so this game will not be an offensive explosion in the slightest. I see Game 6 being very similar to Game 5, which produced 191 points.
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Time: 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON
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Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Analysis
With Embiid’s injury limiting his offense, the 76ers must get production from their backcourt. Maxey is 2nd in scoring this series at 20.6 PPG on an excellent 51/40/93 shooting split. He posted a dud in Game 5, but his usually lethal shot will space the floor. Maxey also owns a quick first step, so he can blow past the Raptors defenders on drives to the basket. James Harden is facilitating, but his scoring has been sub par. He’s averaging 18.4 PPG and 9.2 APG on 37.3 FG% and 37.9 3PT%. This version of James Harden is not what the 76ers traded for. They need him to find his groove and become the lethal scorer off the dribble he is capable of being. If Harden can break down the defense, it will make it far easier for the other 76ers to score.
Tobias Harris has to step up here and turn in a good two-way performance. He’s been very good this series; his line is 17.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 3 APG on a 53/45/85 shooting split. Harris can hit contested shots and score off the dribble for them. If Philadelphia can get 20+ points from him, it would take pressure off of Embiid, and he wouldn’t have to go nuclear in the scoring department. His defense on Pascal Siakam will be key since Siakam is the main scorer for Toronto, especially with VanVleet likely out. Harris will play a crucial part in knocking the Raptors out of the playoffs.
Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup
Toronto Raptors Analysis
With VanVleet doubtful, the Raptors must get ball handling and playmaking from other players. Pascal Siakam is 2nd in assists for this series behind VanVleet at 5.6 APG. He is the main scorer and playmaker for this Raptors squad, so he will control the ball for the majority of the time. His length and crafty moves allow Siakam to finish around the rim. If Embiid is stifling him, Siakam has the ability to find the open man for a three-point attempt. Toronto’s offense runs through Siakam, and he will have to deliver for the Raptors to force a Game 7. Scottie Barnes has also been crucial in the playmaking department through his 4.7 APG. His all-around game allows him to boost the Raptors in multiple areas. His scoring and defense are crucial for a Raptors team that must contend with Maxey, Harden, Harris, and Embiid.
OG Anunoby has been the unsung hero for Toronto this series. He’s 2nd in scoring at 19.8 PPG on a 49/35/75 shooting split. Toronto’s offense is able to run smoothly because his outside shooting has bailed out broken possessions. When contested, OG can become a slasher and drive to the hoop. Anunoby’s perimeter defense is also stifling the 76ers offense. If the Raptors can get great games out of Siakam, Barnes, and Anunoby, they have an excellent chance to win this series.