Toronto Raptors: What the US media is saying about the 76ers series

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors will face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. Here’s what the US media is saying about their chances.

Both the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers both took care of business against their first-round match-ups and will now face head to head for the first time in the post-season since their historic seven-game battle.

As these two teams prepare for each other, what is some of the media coverage on the series?


But before we move on  to the Sixers, here’s what the Orlando Sentinel had to say about the absolute dismantling of the Magic at the hands of the Toronto Raptors.

"This game was over before the first quarter even ended — right about the time Kawhi Leonard hit a 3-pointer to put the Raptors ahead 31-7. This is when I got a text from a friend back home who was unaware that NBA-TV had blacked-out the game in Orlando and wanted to know where to find the game on local television. I texted back, “Fox Sports Florida.” A minute later, I got this response, “I turned it on just in time to turn it off.”"

And so, let the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals begin.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Murphy believes the manner in which the Sixers were able to finish off the Nets may speak volumes about how much they’ve grown since last year’s playoff loss to the Celtics and how they will approach and challenge the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern semis this year.

"We simply had not seen it, in real life, in real time, in the sorts of stretches that a team must put together to consider itself a legitimate contender. On Tuesday night, it was there, and it had been steadily growing to that point over the course of the series. The exclamation point came in the form of a 14-0 run that saw the Nets miss their first eight shots."

Relentless defence from, not only Joel Embiid but also the feisty Jimmy Butler and the lengthy Ben Simmons, will definitely pose more problems for the Raps than the Magic’s D did.

Mike Sielski from the Inquirer feels the Sixers are a much-improved team than last years too but acknowledges the Raptors will pose a much bigger threat to Philadelphia and for the Sixers to stand a chance they will need to be near perfect.

"While the party thumped here, the Raptors were having an easy time of their own Game 5 up in Scotiabank Arena, against the Orlando Magic: 115-96. They will be the Sixers’ opponent in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and, make no mistake: The Raptors aren’t better than just the Nets. They’re better than the Sixers, too. They won more games (58 to 51) and will have homecourt advantage in this series. They’re more experienced. And they’re deeper, especially if the bruised right foot that forced Mike Scott to leave Tuesday’s game keeps him out of the lineup."

Our friends over at The Sixer Sense believe the Raptors have an advantage in the depth department. The Sixers have been going with an eight-man rotation, with James Ennis, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott being the only bench players to be reliable enough to get significant minutes. Of those three, the Sixers will need Scott to step up.

"If Scott isn’t on point, the Sixers will have trouble keeping pace with Toronto. Being able to stagger five elite offensive talents is helpful, but it won’t matter if one of the few serviceable bench pieces can’t make an impact."


Defence will clearly be on show in the Raptors-Sixers series.

Joel Embiid believes he is the best defensive player in the league and he may be right. The Bleacher Report agrees in Joel Embiid Makes Sixers the Championship Contender They Were Supposed to Be.

"Embiid is bigger than anyone as fast as him, faster than anyone as big as him, and more talented than nearly every player in the league. He’s the closest thing the NBA has seen to Shaquille O’Neal in the last 10 or so years. He may be the most impactful defensive player in the league. His dunks and blocks stand out, yes, but so does the way he impacts the game. His presence hangs over the court like a shadow, one that opponents can’t shake."

ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz believes the Raptors defence is pretty dominant too and will cause problems for the Sixers.

"The team sports two former defensive players of the year in Leonard and Gasol, a three-time first-team NBA All-Defense winner in Ibaka, an All-Defense second-teamer in Danny Green, a point guard in Lowry who consistently ranks near the top of the league defensively at his position in the most advanced defensive metrics (his backup VanVleet rates highly too), and Siakam, who might have been better than all of them this season."

Next. Previewing the Toronto Raptors series against the Philadelphia 76ers. dark

In general, the national media tends to be leaning Raptors. However, it’s not a decisive advantage either way. The first round is over and now the series fans have been waiting for begins. Buckle up. It promises to be a good one.