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Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam dunks the ball as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris tries to catch up during Game 1 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series on April 27, 2019.
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam dunks the ball as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris tries to catch up during Game 1 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series on April 27, 2019.|Frank Gunn | The Canadian Press via Associated Press
NBA

Mims previews Monday’s Game 2 of the Sixers v Raptors NBA Playoffs

Robert Mims

Robert Mims

The Sixers were dominated in Game One by Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam. They combined for 74 points and 18 rebounds. The duo outscored the Sixers starting five by 3 points. The Sixers bench outscored the Raptors 24 to 10. So, Philly lost by 13 in a game that only one starter scored their average.

Both teams shot 33% from the 3-point line. Philly actual made two more three pointers than Toronto. So, the difference in the game was defensively. Toronto did a better job of not letting the Sixers fast break. The Raptors are committed to getting back and preventing easy baskets. So, the Sixers must create a dominance on the boards that equates to double digits. They had 7 more rebounds than Toronto in Game 1.

So, most of the statistics give the impression that the Sixers can clean up their act and actual steal Game Two. Which takes me back to Leonard and Siakam. The Sixers do not have a player that can slow down either of them. Ben Simmons should match up with Leonard. His length should negate the ease that Kawhi is getting to the basket. Jimmy Butler should run the team in the half-court offense. That will increase proficiency and get more paint touches for Embiid. Siakum is the X factor. If he has another 29-point performance, the Raptors will win Game Two. It will be closer and more competitive than Game One.

Coach Brown showed he could adjust after the Sixers lost the opening game in the previous series against the Nets. This must happen again for them to win Game Two. This game has the appearance of an under on the total. The total is currently at 225. Leonard should score over 30 again regardless of the outcome.

My next post will look at the NBA Western Conference Playoffs.