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Philadelphia 76ers are in Panic Mode vs. Raptors

By Carlos Chacon

After taking a commanding 3-0 series lead, the Philadelphia 76ers have suddenly allowed the Toronto Raptors to stay alive and win two straight battles, with Game 6 up North set for Thursday night. Philadelphia’s loss in Game 5 Monday could not have come at a worse moment, and we’re here to break down why the Sixers should be sweating immensely.

Nitrobetting is ready to dish out some timely assists to our bettors all throughout the 2022 NBA Playoffs. This time, let’s take a highlight the three biggest reasons why the Philadelphia 76ers should be in panic mode against the Toronto Raptors.

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3 Reasons Why the 76ers Should Be in Panic Mode vs. Raptors

No Match for the Raptors’ Size

It turns out that the hip injury suffered by Toronto starting point guard Fred VanVleet was a blessing in disguise. The Raptors added more size in their lineup, which managed to clamp down on Philadelphia’s potent offense and held the Sixers to just 38.3-percent shooting from the field and 27 percent from the three-point line.

VanVleet remains doubtful to play in Game 6 this Thursday and will still be considered a huge loss. However, the Raptors will likely use the same game plan of countering Philly’s attack with size upfront using the likes of standout bench performers Precious Achiuwa, Thaddeus Young, and Chris Boucher in relief of standout big men Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and OG Anunoby.

Digging Deeper for More Dinos

Speaking of the Toronto’s bench, its supporting cast came up huge in Game 5 and is the reason why the team wasn’t missing VanVleet’s services as much. The Raptors’ bench players outscored the Sixers’ reserves, 29-11, with the aforementioned Achiuwa scoring a new playoff-best 17 points.

Meanwhile, the top-heavy 76ers live and die by their starting five. Although all five Sixers starts scored in double-digits, all but one of their players (Danny Green) logged no less than 39 minutes of action, resulting in the team gassing out against Toronto’s towering reserves. Not one of Philly’s six bench players who saw action in Game 5 pitched in more than three points in the contest.

Toronto’s Postseason Experience

Let’s not forget that the Raptors have a championship-winning coach in Nick Nurse, who is great at adapting to any given situation in the playoffs. Nurse’s decision to beef up his rotation was a brilliant move as we’ve all just seen as the Raptors seek to advance to the conference semifinals for the sixth time in seven years.

Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers does have a relatively similar postseason pedigree as Nurse, but he still lacks that coveted ring to finally earn his brass. Rivers needs to unleash Joel Embiid and James Harden if the Sixers don’t want to be on the losing end of the first 3-0 comeback in NBA playoff history.

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