Don’t Panic! The Philadelphia 76ers Can Still Beat The Toronto Raptors…

Posted on May 6, 2019 - Last Updated on May 10, 2019
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There’s a bit of a sour mood in Philadelphia following Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Philadelphia 76ers were in control in Games 2 and 3, and had a good chance to win Game 4.

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Teams that win Game 4 and go up 3-1 in an NBA playoff series go on to win 96% of the time, so it’s understandable that the wind has been taken out of the sails a little bit following the Game 4 loss. NJ sportsbooks odds are changing their tone.

Now that the series is evened up at 2-2:

  • The Toronto Raptors are a -260 favorite on the series price.
  • And a 6.5-point favorite in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Make your bets for game five at DraftKings or FanDuel Sportsbook.

76ers - Joel Embiid - NJbetting.com

Even so, the 76ers still have a path to victory. They just need to have a few small things to go their way to pull this out and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and, NJBetting.com put together a few keys to the game:

Joel Embiid Must Be Aggressive

One of the most bizarre aspects of the 76ers loss in Game 4 was that Joel Embiid only had seven shots in 35 minutes of action. Yes, it does appear that he’s in fact sick as he endured a sleepless night on Saturday night, spending much of it in the bathroom vomiting.

He even says he required an IV on Sunday morning. At the same time, it’s downright shocking that he only had seven shots in the game. What’s bizarre is that Embiid was in single-digit shot attempts just once in the entire regular season and never had as few as seven; he’s now been limited to seven twice in this series (Game 2 and Game 4).

If the 76ers are to pull this out, they need Embiid being more aggressive on the inside. He’s their “Crown Jewel”, as head coach Brett Brown puts it, and he has to shine if they’re to advance.

Joel Embiid

Harris Has To Get On Track

Tobias Harris was an All-Star with the Los Angeles Clippers but there’s no denying that his play has declined a little bit coming over to Philadelphia. For the most part, his production looked the same in the regular season except for his shooting percentages.

His field goal percentage dropped by about three percent since the trade and his three-point shooting fell off by nearly 11%. While he was great in the opening round against the Brooklyn Nets, he’s really struggled against Toronto.

In Game 4, Harris set a franchise record for the most three-point misses in a playoff game, going just two-of-13. He’s now shooting just 34.6% from the field and 31.4% from three.

He needs to be more accurate if the 76ers are to win two of the next three games.

Paging Ben Simmons

76ers fans get nervous whenever it’s the playoffs and the spotlight is on Ben Simmons, but the reality is they need him right now.
Simmons was a monster in Round 1, averaging 17.2 points, 7.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds while shooting 62.8% from the field.

All of those numbers are down in Round 2 as he’s averaging 10.0 points, 4.8 assists, 7.0 rebounds while shooting just 56.5% from the field.

One telling stat with Simmons are his free throw attempts. He averaged 4.8 in Round 1 while getting to the line 24 times in five games. He’s been to the line a total of three times in Round 2, suggesting that he’s not being as aggressive. We know the outside shot is still a work in progress but if he’s not driving, creating and getting to the line, the rest of the team suffers.

Sixers Success Is In Their Hands

We know that Kawhi Leonard is a monster right now but the 76ers advancing has more to do with what they do versus what the Raptors do. We know Toronto will get about 40 points from Leonard per night while the rest of the team behind him will be inconsistent.

Kyle Lowry is struggling, Pascal Siakam is limited with a calf injury and guys like Danny Green, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are a roll of the dice on offense every night. But Philadelphia’s success is in their own hands. That’s why they might be a good bet at +205 to win this series.

Embiid is less than 100%, Harris’ shot is off and Simmons hasn’t been very aggressive. Even so, they had a 2-1 series lead and nearly won Game 3.

If Simmons and Harris can’t do a little bit more and this Big Four downgrades to a Big Two or a Big One, they’ll lose this series. But what’s more likely the case is Embiid gets stronger as we go, Simmons and Harris are a little better, and everyone supports Jimmy Butler.

That’ll be enough to push this team to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Now that the NBA Playoffs are heating up NJ sports betting bonuses are easy to find. You can place your bets online at NJ sports betting websites or head to AC for some NJ sportsbooks by the beach.

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