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Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors

That’s A Rap #178: Previewing Raps-Sixers with Liberty Ballers

The 2019 series looms large over the latest Raptors-Sixers playoff clash. Joel Embiid has a chance to erase the crying meme. Pascal Siakam can put a bow on his redemption season. With so many storylines, we brought in Liberty Ballers’ Editor, Paul Hudrick, to break down Raps-Sixers part three!

Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

It’s Toronto. It’s Philadelphia. It’s time for a rubber match since each team can claim a Game 7 home victory over the other, thanks to what happened at the buzzer.

To help preview the series, we called upon Paul Hudrick, Editor-in-Chief of our SB Nation affiliate in Philadelphia, Liberty Ballers. It should come as no surprise that both fan bases are nervous about the series — one probably more than the other. Will Joel Embiid continue his best ever season with an MVP-like performance? How will Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and James Harden look after returning from their injuries? More importantly, will the series end earlier, or are we destined for Game 7 buzzer-beaters every damn time?!?

After diving into our latest episode, make sure to include your comments and predictions in the comments section below!

In This Episode:

3:15 — Four bounces

It’s been three years since we’ve had a Sixers representative on the podcast, so a question around Philadelphia’s last visit to Toronto in a playoff game was bound to be asked. Lucky for us, Paul was actually in the building to witness The Shot!

13:55 — 1 Center vs 4 Forwards

Before the season, the Raptors’ roster construction, with its lack of anyone resembling a Center, looked like it could survive against every opponent except Philadelphia and Denver. However, Nick Nurse may have pulled off his greatest feat and made Vision 6’9 a terrorizing force on the defensive end. Can they continue to frustrate Embiid under the bright lights of the NBA Playoffs?

28:13 — X Factor

With so much attention on Embiid, can Tyrese Maxey continue his excellent sophomore season with a memorable playoff performance? Is the slow-footed, often-confused James Harden we saw in two losses to the Raptors last month the same one that’ll appear in the post-season? If one or both of these questions turns out negatively for Philadelphia, this may be a short series!

37:30 — Predictions

But a short series is not what we’re expecting! Post-season basketball is slower, rougher, and catered to superstars elevating their teams. That shouldn’t bode well for a Raptors team that relies on their transition offense, has a penchant for drawing fouls (although that’s improved of late), and does not have the best player in this series (Pascal Siakam is not far behind though). So, why are we still predicting a Raptors series win? (Well, not all of us predicted that)

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