The Toronto Raptors played their best game in Game 3 when they finally got to play host to the Philadelphia 76ers, but even that proved to not be enough, as the Sixers came back to win in overtime on an extraordinary 3-point jump shot from center Joel Embiid.
Philly Is Better
This was probably Philly’s worst game of the playoffs until Embiid took over. He scored 23 of his 33 points after the break.
They say athletes need to have short-term memory, to get over the last play to make the next one. While that is true, perhaps at the moment, these guys never forget certain moments. Remember Kawhi Leonard hitting his fading jumper in the corner over Embiid to beat the Sixers back in 2019? Embiid remembers, and that shot likely meant a lot to him.
Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater shot that advanced Raptors to the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals 👀 pic.twitter.com/H85g3X0Mfh
— BasketNews.com (@BasketNews_com) April 21, 2022
Thanks to his heroics, Embiid, and the Sixers will have the chance to complete the sweep and advance. Who knows? A new friend may be along for the ride.
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) April 21, 2022
We still haven’t need to see James Harden elevate his play and perhaps is getting a little bit of slack he otherwise wouldn’t if not for the emergence of Maxey. They’ll need him to take his game to the levels we’ve seen Harden at in the past if they want to make this a legitimate run and not just a nice first series. But for now, ride the hot hand. Maxey might be able to be this team’s legitimate third scoring option.
There will be plenty of time for criticism later in the playoffs over things like Harden’s defense or games where it seems Tobias Harris is invisible and Philly’s lack of depth. It may not be this series, but the conversations will be had. As long as Embiid keeps paving the way, everyone else will just have to fall in line and do their job.
Below, we’ll give you NBA betting odds, previous scores and odds, and a pick from our NBA betting expert.
Does Toronto Roll Over?
According to the Las Vegas odds, Toronto is a +125 favorite on the moneyline Saturday. There’s no doubt that Philly has been the better team for the majority of this series. Not to say the Raptors don’t have nice pieces, but the level that Embiid is playing at right now is just proving too tough for them with no legitimate option to really defend him. Not that they should be ashamed, as most teams don’t have someone that can defend Embiid.
Toronto’s hopes in this series took a huge blow when rookie forward Scottie Barnes rolled his ankle and was exacerbated by Embiid’s 300-pound self landing on Barnes’ foot. Despite being a rookie, Barnes was already one of Toronto’s best defenders. While there’s plenty of room for improvement with his shooting, Barnes averaged 17 points per game after the all-star break with 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists with a steal.
To give Toronto credit, OG Anunoby has stepped up big time. Even with Barnes next to him all season, he averaged 17 points per game himself with 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists with 1.5 steals. In fact, if Toronto was able to pull out a victory in Game 3, he likely would’ve been the main reason why. He’s scored 26 points in each of the last two games, which is right around his average when Barnes doesn’t play.
It’s been much-needed production, as some of the main sources of production for Toronto have fallen off. Since shooting 4-for-6 from deep in the opening quarter of Game 2, Fred Van Vleet has shot just 3-for-20 since.
As for Pascal Siakam, it looks like he thinks he’s Kevin Durant. Yet, Nick Nurse hasn’t reminded him that he is, in fact, not Durant. The amount of times Siakam gets the rebound, or just brings it up the floor, and doesn’t pass to anyone, backs his defender down to the free-throw line/elbow area just for a fadeaway jumper doesn’t seem like the best offense the Raptors could run. Then again, advanced analytics can be quite confusing.
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76ers vs Raptors Betting Lines
76ers vs Raptors Game Information
- Series record: Sixers (3-0) VS Raptors (0-3)
- Date: Saturday, April 23rd. 2 p.m. ET
- Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
- 76ers vs Raptors Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Sixers vs Raptors Head-to-Head
The Toronto Raptors have yet to cover a game in this series.
In the last five games against Toronto, the Sixers are 3-2 ATS and 3-3 for the season.
Sixers vs Raptors Prediction
After Philly’s dramatic Game 3 win, Embiid told rapper Drake “I’m coming for the sweep.”
At this point, people should have no reason to not believe in Embiid. Whethe he proves to be the MVP, he is playing maybe the best basketball out of anyone still playing. Toronto has a lot to figure out defensively and may get a lift if Barnes proves good enough to go, but that doesn’t change Van Vleet’s poor shooting.
If there were a game for Harden to come to really come to life, it should be this one, as going back to Philly to rest for a few days before their next series is a lot better than having to go back to Philly with the possibility of more games.