It is gut-check time for the Toronto Raptors.
Their season is not over in the event that they lose Sport Four of their Jap Convention semifinals sequence with the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC), however that is as pivotal as a Sport Four can get. A win attracts the Raptors even at 2-2, with two of the final three video games in Toronto. A loss places them in a 3-1 gap that few groups have climbed out of.
A lot of the Toronto rotation has performed in greater video games. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Inexperienced and Serge Ibaka have all performed in The Finals. Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell, in the meantime, have performed within the convention finals. However it is a new stage of stress for a brand new group and a brand new head coach. In a sequence between two groups that went all-in for this season, the Raptors are the primary to return face-to-face with their very own mortality.
To win on Sunday, the Raptors might want to decelerate the Sixers’ finest participant whereas offering extra assist for their very own. They usually could must do it with out Pascal Siakam, who’s listed as uncertain for Sport Four with a proper calf contusion. On this sequence, Leonard and Siakam have mixed to common 61 factors per recreation. All different Raptors have mixed to averaged simply 36.3.
After Sport 1, it was simple to level out the failings of the Sixers’ rotation. Three of their 5 starters could not guard Leonard, and their bench was painfully shallow. However two video games later, the Sixers have by no means appeared higher (or extra cohesive) and it is the Raptors that appear terminally flawed, particularly on offense, the place they’ve scored lower than 97 factors per 100 possessions over Video games 2 and three.
For the sequence, Toronto is right down to 101.Four factors scored per 100 possessions, the worst mark within the convention semis and down from their price of 111.5 per 100 within the first spherical.