How the Raptors can win Game 6 vs. 76ers

The Toronto Raptors can force a seventh and deciding game against the Philadelphia 76ers with a Game 6 win on Thursday. Here are the keys to them getting one step closer to history and becoming the first team in NBA history to comeback from a 3-0 series deficit.

Video Transcript

IMMAN ADAN: Game 6 predictions?

AMIT MANN: Oh, boy. I mean, I think if the Raptors get off to a really strong start, I think the 76ers might crumble, to be perfectly honest with you. Because I just don't think they have the mentality. I mean, they're showing us way too many times that they're just not that team, the team that they are projecting themselves to be.

And when it comes down to it, if they can limit the 76ers, how many looks they get, how many comfortable looks they get-- if, you know, Danny Green isn't hitting his shots at the beginning of the game. And you know, with the Raptors, they have really thrived off of this 6' 9" vision where they just have Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa, OG Anunoby relocating, cutting to the basket. And they work on this stuff. It's a big part of their offense.

We criticize Nick Nurse's offense. It's simple, but it can be very effective when it's done properly, right? And last night was an example of it being very effective. That's when, you know, Chris Boucher is, like, cutting in around the baseline--

IMMAN ADAN: Beautiful cuts.

AMIT MANN: --for an-- yeah, right? Like, he exposed James Harden one, two-- how many times, right? I don't know how many times you got to see it. Thad Young, Chris Boucher, they got a little chemistry happening. Maybe it's because they appeared on "Hustle Play," I don't know. But anyways, I think stuff like that is going to be really important.

And for the love of God, please hit 3's. Please hit 3's. Like, that-- OG shot 2 of 9. A lot of those were, again, very clean looks.

If you're hitting those shots-- someone tweeted me saying-- because I had pointed out at halftime, like, if they were actually shooting well from 3, this would be a 20-point game. He was like, yeah, but that shows room for growth-- no, that doesn't mean anything. You have to hit the 3's in front of you. Because you're allowing your team to hang around. If you're allowing them to hang around, there's a good chance that they might come back.

And granted, the 76ers seem like they're clinging for life at the moment based on their performance and their demeanor. But still, you need to kill your opponent when they're down. That's really important. So those are a couple right there.

IMMAN ADAN: No, and I agree with you. I think the Raptors have-- and it feels crazy to say this when you're considering the runner up for MVP and a former MVP on a team, but I think the Raptors have a larger margin of error than the Sixers do in Game 6. I agree with you, we want to see the Raptors hit their 3's. And what happens if the Raptors are hitting 3's is it's a blowout.


IMMAN ADAN: But what's happening if the Sixers hit their 3's is it's a win. And that, to me, is the difference. In order for the Sixers to win Game 6, they need their guys hitting shots. And I think Danny Green probably getting two days' rest could be really big for him as well.

They're going to need their guys to hit 3's because the Raptors are looking off a guy at every opportunity to guard Embiid in the way that they have. And the Sixers are not capitalizing off of that in the way that they should. If the Sixers can do that, this becomes a game, and the Raptors maybe need to hit some.

I think if the Raptors-- I think if the Raptors hit their 3's, they're winning this. Like, it's not even an issue.


IMMAN ADAN: But the Sixers--

AMIT MANN: That's true.

IMMAN ADAN: --Sixers need to hit it in order to survive. And I don't know how much I believe in their periphery-- periphery?

AMIT MANN: Peripherals?

IMMAN ADAN: Guys on the periphery.

AMIT MANN: Yeah, yeah.

IMMAN ADAN: I don't know. I don't know English.

AMIT MANN: It's a word. It's a word.

IMMAN ADAN: It is a word, right? My periphery vision-- guys on the outside to hit their shots. I don't know that I fully trust it. But if that happens, if the role players show up in the way that they should-- and narrative has it that role players don't really show up on the road. But hey, the Raptors arena might be a less hostile crowd than the Sixers arena was.

AMIT MANN: That's true.

IMMAN ADAN: Wells Fargo was very brutal--

AMIT MANN: That's true.

IMMAN ADAN: --to Sixers fans-- I mean, to Sixers players right there. Maxey just entered the game and got boos right away. I don't think Embiid got a single MVP chant at the line.


IMMAN ADAN: So they might have-- if it goes to a Game 7, it might be another road game for the Sixers. They might not have a home game left in the series.

AMIT MANN: And again, like, don't foul. Like, you did a great job of that the past few games. Do not foul. Don't bail out James Harden with his foul-baiting techniques. Like, you know the game now.

At this point of a series, like, everyone kind of knows your moves. That's why it's so impressive why Pascal is getting stronger with James Harden. Don't fall for it. Joel Embiid-- again, don't fall for it. Because they're looking for it.

And Nick Nurse said it yesterday. He was like, if we limit them to under 10 free throws, that's a good game. I don't think he was applying that knowledge earlier on in the series because they were constantly digging at them. I think maybe Nick Nurse had to adjust a little bit along with his coaching staff.

But if they keep them off the foul line, they're going to be in a really good spot to win this game. And Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Maxey, they got to hit 3's. And if they don't, like you said, see you in Game 7.

IMMAN ADAN: Yeah, and another thing, just to add to the Raptors not fouling is, go at Embiid.

AMIT MANN: Oh, yeah.

IMMAN ADAN: Because Embiid got in foul trouble. Go at Harden. Harden has fouled out in a game in the series.


IMMAN ADAN: They can't guard you. And they're going to have to foul you in order to stop you.

AMIT MANN: Mm-hmm.

IMMAN ADAN: He needed to foul Precious in order to stop a clean drive. Like--

AMIT MANN: That's true.

IMMAN ADAN: --this is Joel Embiid, who was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate just a year ago. So to me, it's just continue to go at these guys. We know that the Sixers are going to deploy the zone. We saw it already a lot in Game 5, so they're going to bring it out again. So the Raptors, I agree with you, need to hit their shots.

But also, just be a little bit more aggressive on the offensive end. It seems like refs are rewarding the offensive player there just for their aggression alone. So continue to do that, continue to drive.

The Raptors seem to have less tired legs as the series goes on than the team with James Harden, Danny Green, and Joel Embiid.

AMIT MANN: Who would have thought? One last thing I wanted to mention because I saw this happening throughout the game yesterday is that James Harden, Scottie Barnes, like, they're matched up together. And Scottie, as he gets healthier, he is more and more willing to post up James Harden. And he's pretty effective down there.

And Tyrese Maxey, he is the mismatch. And I feel like the Raptors, they weren't capitalizing on it last night until they really needed to. And they did it late in the game.

They got a switch-- Gary Trent Jr., by the way, he had some up and down moments in the game. But when he had to-- like, broken possessions, he made a lot of shots. And also, he was effective at making sure those switches happen when they wanted to get Tyrese Maxey onto someone, like a Pascal, or OG, or whatever. Chris Boucher tried it, failed miserably because Tyrese Maxey just pushed him out of the way. But Gary Trent Jr. did a good job with that.

And that's a matchup that they made happen. Pascal Siakam, he was backing down Tyrese Maxey. Kicked it out to OG Anunoby. He faked, then he pump faked, hit a shot. And that was when the game was at 88-79 for, like, three minutes, it felt like.

And that opened it up. And that's when 76ers fans, they started heading for the-- heading out of the arena because they realized that the game was over. So that's one thing that I think the Raptors are going to start using if they need to in the series.

The mismatches are everywhere, man. They're everywhere, so--

IMMAN ADAN: That's what happens when you have a team of a bunch of 6' 9" guys and Gary Trent Jr.

AMIT MANN: Hell to the yeah.


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