Raptors Play Big Role In Philly's Playoff Destiny

The Raptors are as close as we could say to on a roll this season. That is the opposite of the team they face tonight. The Sixers for most of this season have sat on top on the Atlantic Division after a great start to this shortened schedule this year. Until just recently when that team of old guys in Boston started playing good basketball. It is as predictable as the leaves budding on the trees at this time of of year. The Sixers have won just four of their last 10 games. That said they still have an impressive home record of 19-10. The price of the Celtics passing the Sixers is high. Sixers went from a winnable first round match-up with Orlando to having to face Miami. They are a game and half back of both the Celtics and Hawks to avoid that first round trip to South Beach.

So the Raptors get to be in the roll of spoiler. The Sixers and Hawks both have two games left with the Raptors and if the Raptors were to surprise either team it could have a major impact on their playoff outlooks. Raptors will play the Sixers again a week from tonight at the ACC. They will play the Hawks in a home and home and back to back on April 15th and 16th. In those reverse standing the Raptors moved past the Nets and out of the basement of the Atlantic Division last night with their win over the Bobcats. It could lead to a very interesting final game of the season with the Raptors and Nets with both teams not exactly motivated to win.

Games in which both Andrea Bargnani and Demar DeRozan have been firing on all cylinders have been rare in the three years since DeRozan has been here but we did get to see that last night. In terms of the Sixers Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala have traditionally played well against the Raptors in their career. Another name you might want to add to that list is Thaddeus Young. The Raptors are in the midst of playing 5 games in 7 days so it is only going get tougher as it goes along.

3 Keys: 

Stop Penetration: Jrue Holiday will look to attack the paint. keep him out of their and play strong in the post. Sixers have only a few options to make the long ball so even the use of zone makes sense tonight for the Raptors.

Transition Offense: Both of these teams like to get out and run in transition. The team that does the best in this regard should have a big leg up in winning the game.

D is Key: Raptors D has not been spectacular despite two wins. It will need to be good tonight to beat this team. 

No comments:

Post a Comment