With all due respect to the Orlando Magic, the NBA Playoffs unofficially begin on Saturday. Toronto and Philadelphia have seemed destined to meet in the postseason, especially given the similar paths they’ve had to endure to get to this point. Both have gone “all-in” for the year, making franchise-altering acquisitions early (Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler) and late (Marc Gasol and Tobias Harris). They also both overcame Game 1 hiccups and completed their own Douchebag Sweeps.
For this episode, we brought in Brian Murphy, contributor at Liberty Ballers, to give his views on the upcoming series. Have a listen and chime in below with your thoughts on Raptors-Sixers: A rematch 18 years in the making!
On The Latest Episode:
This is a series-long Spider-Man meme. With two of the strongest starting lineups in the NBA, this promises to be a series filled with plenty of switching, interesting individual match-ups, and, ultimately, tons of drama. Both squads are riding high on momentum and confidence, especially after how each performed in the first round. For these tortured fan bases, it’ll be an anxious four-plus games.
While a lot of switching will be expected for positions one through four, it also shouldn’t surprise anyone that Marc Gasol and Joel Embiid will stay tied to the hip. Embiid is a borderline First Team All-NBA Centre, but he’s had a troubled history when facing Gasol.
Another monumental match-up that favours the Raptors is Kawhi Leonard guarding Ben Simmons. The Klaw was masterful in forcing Simmons into a season-high 11 turnovers the first meeting. In three games, Simmons has below-average shooting numbers across the board, and more than double the number of turnovers (8.0 vs. 3.5) when matched up against Kawhi.
Who is the X-Factor for each team? Toronto has the deeper bench, but haven’t been very consistent thus far. Philadelphia’s bench is almost non-existent with Raptor killer, Mike Scott, nursing an injury and Boban Marjanovic likely unplayable against Toronto’s bigs.
Out of all the stars playing, we try to pick the biggest threat from each team. In some cases, it’s not even a single player. What do you think is the biggest threat for each team? Let us know in the comments.
Finally, we round out the episode with some series predictions. Will the Raptors get their revenge for 2001? Spoiler alert: Kawhi Leonard does not have any graduation ceremony planned for May 12.
4:52 - Put a bow on Round 1
8:30 - Looking forward to Round 2
9:55 - Concerns in Philly?
12:40 - The Process is over
15:20 - Gasol vs. Embiid
23:54 - Boban!
27:06 - Kawhi vs. Simmons
34:24 - Raptor/76er Killers
36:35 - X Factor
45:06 - Raptors/76ers biggest threat
54:15 - Series Predictions