The Philadelphia 76ers outlasted the Toronto Raptors in six games after a triumphant 132-97 victory on Thursday night. Toronto made a run after being down 3-0, but eventually, Philadelphia’s star power was too much to handle. Joel Embiid dropped 33 points and 10 boards in game six, while Tyrese Maxey and James Harden combined for 47 points and 23 assists. The Raptors have a plethora of talent, but Philadelphia proved to be too much.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Series Recap
Joel Embiid – the Potential MVP
Embiid may very well win his first MVP trophy shortly. After a thumb injury that slowed him down in a couple of games, Embiid reminded everyone of his dominance in Game 6. He also dropped 31 points and 11 rebounds in game two and 33 points and 13 boards in Game 3.
His dominance came as no surprise. During the regular season, he averaged about 31 points, 12 boards, and four assists per game. Toronto, however, was well-equipped, on paper at least, to contain Embiid. They have a strong rotation of big men to throw his way, but ultimately Embiid’s prowess as a superstar proved to be the difference.
Philadelphia’s Dazzling Backcourt
Harden is widely criticized, and at times it’s somewhat deserved. His numbers throughout this series weren’t as great as expected, but overall he played well. It’s important to keep note that Harden acknowledges Embiid as the first option on the 76ers, while the team also has Maxey and other scorers like Tobias Harris.
Throughout the series, Harden averaged about 18 points, nine assists, four boards, and a block and steal per game. He also shot 38 percent from three. Yes, Harden is expected to put up 25+ points per game, but he took a step back this series and facilitated well.
Maxey broke out this season and continued his excellent play in this series. Throughout the series, he averaged about 21 points, five boards, and four assists per game. He’s an electric scorer and a vital part of the Philadelphia squad. Look for Maxey to be a true X-factor throughout the playoffs.
What’s Next for the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors
Philadelphia plays the Miami Heat up next. This is prepping up a potential seven-game series with plenty of storylines. For starters, Jimmy Butler will be up against his former team. He’ll likely draw the defensive match-up versus Harden. Embiid and Bam Adebayo will battle down low. Maxey and Tyler Herro are terrific young guards. Kyle Lowry, a Philadelphia native, will play versus the team he was rumored to be traded to just last season. It will surely be a fantastic series.
Toronto, on the other hand, has a lot to look forward to. Yes, they fell short, but this team is loaded with talent. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are All-Star caliber players. Scottie Barnes is the NBA’s Rookie of the Year is on a path to stardom. OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr are technically “role players,” but are so much better than that. This team’s starting five is good to go for years to come. If the Raptors beef up the bench this offseason, it would be no surprise to see them arise as contenders next season.
Main Image: Embed from Getty Images