The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors are delivering a terrific Eastern Conference semifinals series. Philadelphia had a chance to take a 3-1 lead over the Raptors but failed to protect home court on Sunday. The Raptors will now head home with a chance to take a 3-2 series lead in front of their raucous and excitable fans.
The Raptors got off to a strong start in this series with a 108-95 victory in Game 1. Philadelphia bounced back with a pair of wins in Games 2 and 3, but they wasted a great opportunity in Game 4. The 76ers have already proven that they can win a game on the road in Toronto, but doing it a second time won’t be easy. The Toronto Raptors are a -6.0 point favorite over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5.
Embiid Looks Worn Down
76ers star center Joel Embiid has been dealing with a knee injury for the last few months, and it is really hurting his play. The Sixers have done all they can to limit his minutes, but he has to be on the court a ton in this series. Embiid managed to score just 11 points on 2-7 shooting from the field in the Game 4 loss. There is simply no chance for the 76ers to upset the Raptors unless Embiid is at the top of his game.
Jimmy Butler has been leading the 76ers in this series against the Raptors, but he hasn’t gotten a ton of help. Embiid has been good at times, but the Sixers don’t have much depth. The reserves for the 76ers scored just 11 points in the Game 4 loss, and this kind of production won’t help them moving forward. Expect another monster game from Butler, but he can’t do it alone.
Kawhi Leonard is Unstoppable
Kawhi Leonard is in his first season with the Toronto Raptors, but he is putting up an all-time performance. Leonard is averaging 32.3 points per game so far in the playoffs, including 39 points and 14 rebounds in the Game 4 victory. The former Spurs star is also a defensive star on the other end of the floor and is one of the best current players in the NBA. Leonard is going to need some help at some point, but he is on a remarkable roll.
Serge Ibaka was the only player that scored off the bench for the Raptors in Game 4, finishing the contest with 12 points. Head coach Nick Nurse hardly took his starters out of the game at all, and expect the same kind of thing in this game. Toronto shot just 32 percent from the three-point line, and their shooting still has some room for improvement going forward.
Raptors Take Game 5 at Home
The Raptors have some of the best fans in the NBA, and they will be amped up for this game on Tuesday night. Toronto is struggling to get anything from their bench in this series, but they have the best player on the floor. An injured Joel Embiid is a big problem for the Sixers, and it is going to hurt them in this game. Bet the Toronto Raptors -6.0 over the Philadelphia 76ers.