76ers season has gone south with each visit to Toronto

"We've been through that before, I think". I don't know if he gets the credit. The Raptors don't need him going into games thinking he needs to get 25 to give his team the best chance of winning anymore. "It will definitely be different, so it kind of feels like the first time we're meeting them again", Pascal Siakam said.

Toronto has easily handled Philadelphia teams over the past few seasons, but all of that is out the window now.

The Raptors extended their playoff winning streak to a franchise-record four games and reached the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. More importantly, Simmons averaged an nearly unfathomable eight turnovers per game. In two meetings this season when Gasol was with Memphis, Embiid had a terrible 40.4 true shooting percentage and averaged 14.5 points and 15 rebounds a game (he averaged 27.5 points per game for the season).

The teams have not met since February 5 - a 119-107 win for Toronto in Philadelphia - and both have different looks going into the playoff series.

In my first round series preview I wrote about the Raptors grievances with the NBA's officials and the amount of fouls being called and not called against them. I think they are very good. "He looks better. He's pretty damn good".

Kyle Lowry scored Toronto's first nine points as part of a game-opening, 12-1 flurry to propel the Raptors to a blowout win over visiting Orlando and a 4-1 win in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

The good news for Sixers fans is Embiid is not listed on the injury report for the series opener in Toronto. Obviously [the Raptors] have a go-to guy. The Raptors really seemed to find their stride at the end of the series against Orlando. Meanwhile, Dudley averaged 3 points, 2.8 assists, and 0.5 rebounds per game. Recently signed centre Eric Moreland makes more sense as an emergency third option against Embiid, but he's only appeared in seven games with Toronto this season.

But Leonard is not the only member of the Raptors that will be attacking a Sixers defense. Harris was just 3 of 16 through the first four games.

"We haven't played flawless and we're striving to be better so there's a lot of stuff that we can still continue to do better", he said. What will the question be then? "But it's also not directed to the team that we have".

He remained in the game but minutes later, when he was pulled he ran directly to the Raptors locker room.

The Raptors set a post-season franchise record with 34 assists on 41 made field goals in their decisive Game 5 victory. "A lot more to do". They play an exciting style under Atkinson in an attractive market, and that should only help Marks the next time he goes shopping for players.

On the flip side, Philadelphia's bench primarily features Mike Scott - who was a nuisance against the Raptors in the playoffs last season with Washington - James Ennis and Marjanovic.

The reverse is true as well - Butler will get time on Leonard in what will be an old-school physical battle, making life hard for the guy Toronto turns to in the clutch.

The 76ers did not have a deep rotation to begin the season, and their second unit was depleted even further after they were forced to send away multiple key role-players in the deals that brought in Butler as well as Harris. "It's still trying to get better", Embiid said at shootaround Saturday in advance of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the favored Raptors. "What we don't have is the consistency of familiarity".

With fan pressure building and Sixers owner Scott O'Neil putting it out there that he expects the Sixers to advance beyond what they did previous year, Brown could lose his job and this "Process" may have to hit the restart button.

"We don't have that".

  • Julie Sanders


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT