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That’s A Rap #179: Raptors-Sixers Pulse Check

The Raptors are on the brink of elimination... or the brink of a historic comeback?!? Homerism aside, it’s fair to admit that Joel Embiid has been an unstoppable force AND an immovable object. We broke down what’s worked, what hasn’t, and where we go from here on the latest episode.

Toronto Raptors fall the Philadelphia 76ers 104-101 in Game 3 of their first round NBA playoff series Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

If the Toronto Raptors are going to become the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit, two things need to happen in the next 24 hours:

  • Toronto needs to win Game 4
  • You need to listen to the latest podcast episode before the info becomes irrelevant

The Philadelphia 76ers have outplayed, outhustled, and out-Embiided the Raptors for three straight games. While Toronto played well enough to win Game 3, some questionable coaching decisions and an unbelievable redemption game for Joel put the Raptors in this ominous hole.

In This Episode:

3:45 — The Fade

Three years ago, Kawhi’s shot can still be felt by Toronto and Philadelphia fans. Embiid’s jaw-dropping, buzzer-beater may not have had the same result (eliminating their Atlantic Division foe), but certainly pushed the Raptors to the brink of elimination. Embiid has been nothing short of an MVP, motivated to vanquish past playoff demons. His fadeaway cements his season-long status as “the guy” in Philadelphia.

17:57 — Mild Spice

On the other side of the Cameroonian coin, Pascal Siakam has looked nothing like the All-NBA player who thrashed these very Sixers throughout the regular season. Blame it on Tobias Harris’ stellar defense, Embiid’s presence in the paint, or Siakam getting into his own head — whatever the reason, Pascal has at least one game left to try and change the narrative.

24:00 — Silver Linings

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: OG Anunoby is clutch! While Siakam and Fred VanVleet have been struggling, the much-maligned third player in Toronto’s core trio is having another successful postseason campaign. (It really makes you wonder how much easier the championship run would have been had it not been for poorly timed appendicitis)

32:55 — Belated Brackets

Yes, the playoffs have already started, but it’s better late than never for our annual playoff prediction picks. One caveat I will fully admit is that I definitely joked (before the playoffs) that the Bucks would win in 3 because of how over-matched the Bulls were. Chime in below with your post-week-1 playoff predictions.