76ers vs. Raptors Game 5 takeaways: Toronto climbs back into the series with the second straight win over Philadelphia

What once looked like a potential sweep is now an exciting series as the Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 103-88 in Game 5 Monday night. The win was the second in a row for Toronto, and a series that started 3-0 in Philadelphia’s favor is now 3-2, and Game 6 is to be played in Toronto on Thursday night.

The Raptors were without All-Star guard Fred VanVleet due to a hip injury he sustained in Game 4, but they made plenty of other contributions. Pascal Siakam led Toronto with an almost triple-double – 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Precious Achiuwa scored 17 points and snatched seven rebounds from the bench, and Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby added 16 points each. Toronto shot 50 percent from the floor and turned the ball only nine times.

On the other hand, all five of the Sixers starters scored double figures – led by Joel Embiid (20 points, 11 rebounds) – but none of them played particularly well, and Philadelphia’s bench was surpassed 29-11 during the competition.

It was a worrying overall performance from Philly as they certainly did not come out with the energy, effort and focus that one would have expected them to have with a chance to close the series in front of their home fans sitting in front of them. More troubling is the fact that this is the second poor performance in a row from Philly. Instead of shutting the Raptors out, they have allowed them to hang on and gain confidence, and they will be a harder team to eliminate because of that.

Here are three key takeaways from Toronto’s victory in Game 5 over Philadelphia.

1. Toronto size was an issue for Philly

That Fred VanVleet missed the game could have been a blessing for the Raptors. He was crucial to Toronto’s success throughout the season, but the Sixers had some serious success with him defensively early in the series. With him on the sidelines, Nick Nurse and the Raptors went big and chose a starting lineup consisting of Siakam, Onunoby, Trent Jr., Birch and Barnes. Trent Jr. is the shortest of these players at 6’5 “. From the bench, Toronto played only three guys (not including the last minute of garbage time) – Thaddeus Young, Chris Boucher and Achiuwa. These guys are all at least 6’8 ‘.

In other words, Toronto had an extremely large lineup out there throughout the game, and that confused Philadelphia. The Sixers struggled to penetrate the paint, as they did earlier in the series, and they also had a hard time getting rid of a clean look. This is reflected in the fact that they shot just 38 percent from the field and 27 percent from long range. Toronto’s size also led to revenue – 15 of them from the Sixers.

This is not meant as a crack at VanVleet, but in this series, his absence may be a subtraction scenario for the Raptors. His status for Game 6 is still an issue at this point, but whether he plays or not, the Sixers need to figure out a way to do better with Toronto’s size.

2. An abysmal second quarter for Philadelphia

An argument could be made that this match was lost in the second quarter. After 12 minutes of action, the Sixers were then scored 25-14 in the second and they were never quite able to crawl back into the match after that. They shot just five of 22 from the floor in the quarter, and they had as many turnovers as assists (three). See how ugly this shot chart looks like:

There is simply no excuse for only scoring 14 points in an entire quarter, especially when your heavy players are playing big minutes. Embiid played over eight minutes in the quarter. Harden played 10. Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey both played the entire quarter. These guys should be able to muster more than the equivalent of just under a point per minute, and Doc Rivers should be able to put them in a position to be more productive when the attack stops, as it obviously is. was.

To end this series and put Toronto away will require a full 48 minutes of effort from the Sixers. They can not afford more neighborhoods as bad as that.

3. Toronto dominated the paint

One would think that the team with the dominant center would win the battle for points in the paint, but that was not the case in Game 5. Despite Embid’s presence on the floor, Toronto surpassed Philadelphia by 20 (56-36) in the match. paint. The Raptors consistently reached the edge, and once they were there, they finished. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Raptors converted 24 of their 28 attempts within four feet of the basket. The Sixers had 29 such attempts, but converted only 18 of them. Going forward, the Sixers would like to do a better job of protecting the rim, while also converting more easy attempts at the other end.

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