NBA Preview and Free Pick: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors

Embiid infamously trolled the Raptors during a Game 3 victory, pantomiming an airplane as the Sixers emerged with a 116-95 win to establish a 2-1 series lead at the time.

In the aftermath of Tuesday's game, most focused on the Sixers' failures more than the Raptors' virtues, but it was hard to ignore the impressive display Toronto showed to take a 3-2 series lead.

"You know, can't control my physical condition, but I can also control how much I push myself and I try to do that", Embiid said. "We win together, we lose together, and we're going to play together again come [Thursday]".

Leonard put the punctuation mark on the thrashing with a monster rim-hanging dunk over Embiid - the ball bouncing off both Embiid's nose and head - to end the third quarter.

Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked about his team's defence versus Leonard.

In what was tied for the second-biggest loss in Philadelphia playoff history - the Sixers lost 121-81 to the Boston Celtics in 1982 - Simmons and Embiid combined to score just 20 points.

Kawhi Leonard shadowed Ben Simmons all night in game 5. Embiid committed a game-high eight turnovers. It will not be easy.

The Raptors overpowered the 76ers 125-89 to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference second-round series.

Simmons is 100 percent healthy, as far as anyone knows, yet he's been missing in action all series long. His foot injuries delayed the start of his career by two seasons, but that was back in Philadelphia's "Process" era when planning for the future superseded playing for the present.

The Raptors certainly benefited from another sluggish performance from Embiid, who was still suffering from the illness that slowed him down in Game 4.

He could reliably shut down the opposing team's best scorer, and had shot-making and, more importantly, shot-creating skills that simply dwarfed those of DeMar DeRozan, the man for whom he was traded.

In the playoffs, he has exploded.

Simmons was booed by the Philadelphia crowd in Wells Fargo Centre in the first game of this year's playoffs - a loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Pick a combination of parameters involving efficient scoring, and the comparables to what Leonard has done will be among the NBA's luminaries.

Game 5 was the first time that these teams played over the total in the series, narrowly eclipsing the 212.5-point total that was on the board by tip-off.

As a newly retired National Basketball Association player, former Cavs big man Channing Frye hasn't lost his love of the game and is keeping up with the current playoff battles taking place.

The Raptors, who climbed to No. 1 in three-point shooting after they acquired Marc Gasol, shot 16-for-39 from three-point range for 41 per cent.

"I think it's grossly unfair some of the criticism that he gets", he added. He averaged 27.5 points a game during the regular season.

Every starter finished in double figures, and JJ Redick even produced after struggling in the series, scoring 11 points and knocking down three shots from beyond the arc.

  • Julie Sanders


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