October 2, 2023

Sixers Take Care of Raptors, Advance to 2nd Round vs Heat


Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

The Sixers put an end to their recent struggles in games 4 & 5 as they eliminated the Raptors in 6. Unlike the last few games, the Sixers played very good basketball throughout the entire game. There was one small run in the second quarter for Toronto, but the Sixers still maintained the lead at halftime. It was only a one point game, but that was largely due to the Raptors being able to play just as good as the Sixers were. 

In his post game interview Tyrese Maxey said that they knew the first three minutes of the third quarter would be extremely important. He then said that those three minutes turned into six and so on. The Sixers outscored the Raptors 37-17 in the 3rd quarter, so by the time the 4th quarter rolled around the game had pretty much been decided. Joel Embiid was able to talk some smack to the crowd as he hit bucket after bucket in the second half, and did his signature airplane celebration to put an exclamation point on the victory. 

As said before, Embiid was hitting what seemed like every shot in the second half as he looked like his dominant self again. He dropped his 3rd 30 & 10 game of the series finishing with 33 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. An all around dominant game for “The Process.”

James Harden finally stepped into the place that the Sixers have needed him in. While it may not have come from scoring, he was a huge impact on the offensive end. He put up 10 points in the first, and he was a big reason for the Sixers hot start. Harden finished with 22 points, but that was paired with 15 assists and 6 rebounds. To make the performance even better, he shot the ball very efficiently last night: 40% from 3 and 58% from the field. This is a much better than most honest Sixers fans were anticipating, and a very timely Harden masterclass. 

Tyrese Maxey was phenomenal last night as he had a great bouneback game. After struggling in games 4 & 5, Maxey seemed to find his groove again last night, particularly in the 3rd quarter. Maxey was a huge part of the big Sixers run in the third as he hit three very impressive 3’s in the quarter. After his first playoff series as a starter Tyrese Maxey is now averaging 21.3 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 4.7 RPG on 58/40/95 shooting splits. It is Safe to say he’s adapted well to the pressure of the playoffs. 

We all have to give credit to the Raptors for a heck of a season and exceeding their expectations. The Sixers will now be looking onto Miami and will be preparing to play a very good team in the Heat. Joel Embiid says that they’re well prepared because of the Raptors series, and we can hope as fans that what he said is true.

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