The Raptors will host the 76ers in the Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series on Sunday.
It is fitting that this back-and-forth series is going the distance. Both teams have held the edge at times, but both have bounced back impressively as well. Philadelphia did that in Game 6 when they won 112-101 to force a Game 7. All of their starters had strong games in this one. Jimmy Butler continued his excellent series, and he had 25 points and eight assists in the game. Even though his teammates have faltered at times, Butler has steadily put up good numbers against Toronto.
Ben Simmons impressed as well, as he had 21 points, six assists, and eight rebounds. Simmons was aggressive from the off in Game 6 and scored in the paint a lot. Joel Embiid looked healthy again, and he chipped in with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tobias Harris and J. J. Redick did their job as well, combining for 27 points.
The Raptors were leading the series 3-2, but Philly showed great spirit to fight back in front of their home fans. Embiid’s fitness has been a significant issue, as he has been suffering from illness. He was still not at his best in Game 6. But his presence on the floor has a positive impact nonetheless, especially on the defensive end. Philly will need the best version of Embiid as the playoffs progress, but this could do for now.
For Toronto, it was a similar pattern. Their two best players performed well, but the others failed to step up. Kawhi Leonard had 29 points and 12 rebounds. Leonard has been magnificent in this series, leading the Raptors single-handedly at times. His 39-point performance in Game 4 was one to remember. Pascal Siakam also stepped up in Game 6, and he had 21 points and six rebounds. But the likes of Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol failed to follow suit.
Lowry and Gasol scored 20 points combined. Danny Green scored 17 in Game 5 but could manage just 8 in Game 6. The trio combined to shoot 10 of 27 from the field, including a miserable 5 of 18 from beyond the arc. They played well in Game 5, which was one of the primary reasons for the win. The supporting cast needs to step up for the Raptors if they want to progress further in the playoffs.
Raptors vs 76ers Prediction
Game 7 is a hard one to call, but Toronto look to be the slight favorites. They need everyone to step up, and Leonard will be expected to have another huge game. For Philly, Ben Simmons needs to be at his best again. He needs to step up as teammate Joel Embiid is not the best version of himself. The game will be tight, and the home advantage should help Toronto in snatching the win.