By now you’re surely aware of what’s at stake in Game 6 between the Raptors and Sixers tonight. With a win, Toronto will become just the fourth team ever to claw back to even after dropping the first three games of a seven-game series, and the first since the 2003 Portland Trail Blazers.
That the Raptors even find themselves in this position is a feat deserving of some celebration. Over the last two games (three, really), they’ve wrested control of the series fully out of the Sixers’ grasp, and the onus very much now lays at the feat of Joel Embiid, Doc Rivers and the rest to find an antidote to the formula Toronto’s executed to near-perfection.
That recipe has had one notable omission of course, and it will be missing Fred VanVleet once, who hasn’t played since halftime in Game 3. He was deemed out of action a couple hours before tip with his hip flexor strain, to no one’s real surprise.
His absence means more Vision 6’9 on display for the Raptors, a look that has bothered the Sixers on both ends of the floor whenever it’s been implemented, whether during the two late-season matchups the Toronto won, or during the playoffs. If Philly can’t crack the code against the long and limber Raptors, a tight-sphinctered Game 7 in front of the notoriously unforgiving Sixers home crowd awaits. Here’s what you need to know ahead of tip.
Where to Watch
TSN 4 (Canada) & NBA TV (USA) @ 7pm ET
Philadelphia — Matisse Thybulle (dumb — OUT), Charles Bassey (shoulder — OUT)
Toronto — Fred VanVleet (hip — OUT)
Philadelphia — James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid
Toronto — Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Khem Birch