1 stud and 1 dud as Scottie Barnes, Raptors get smacked by 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors finally started off their postseason push after so much buildup and hype around their matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. If Toronto is going to pull off the upset, names like OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. will have to play excellent basketball.

Throughout the first half, the Raptors were getting pummeled into submission by Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. Toronto ended the two stanzas down by 18 points, which shows that their formula of owning the offensive glass and causing chaos on defense didn’t phase Doc Rivers.

The 76ers scored 107 points in 3 quarters on their way to a 131-111 victory that gave them an early 1-0 series lead. After holding Philly to 88 points in a win earlier this season, Toronto’s defense looked like they had no idea what was going on when it came to stopping Maxey or Embiid.

The Raptors did see a handful of star players perform well on the offensive end of affairs, as they caught fire from 3-point range in the second half. However, the lack of defensive skill shown in this game makes it hard to come away from this game feeling very positive.

131. 93. Final. 111. 81

Scottie Barnes was dominant at times for the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors may have felt a bit of nervousness surrounding Barnes and how he would perform in his first playoff action. After all, the bright lights have been known to rattle even the most talented youngsters. Based on his first showing, the rightful Rookie of the Year is more than ready to emerge as a postseason star.

Barnes ended the night with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a concerning ankle injury. Before he had to leave, we got to see Barnes make his mark on the game with his unique blend of two-way skills.

While Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet managed to get hot from the field in the second half, Barnes was one of the few Raptors players who made an impact on the glass and frequently set his teammates up for success with wide-open shots.

It’s very rare to see a 20-year-old rookie look so composed and in command during his first playoff action, but Barnes was the spitting image of someone who didn’t get his internal clock sped up by the spectacle.

At the very least, the Raptors should feel comfortable about Barnes’ ability to lead this team if his ankle is anything approximating 100 percent healthy.

Gary Trent Jr. was incredibly poor for the Toronto Raptors.

While bench bigs like Precious Achiuwa and Chris Boucher didn’t do themselves any favors, Trent was especially poor despite personal nemesis Matisse Thybulle coming off of the bench. Toronto needed perimeter scoring to stand up to Philadelphia, and Trent was a complete zero from the field in that poor first half.

In 25 minutes, Trent was just 2-11 from the field and scored just nine points. On a night where all of Philadelphia’s secondary scorers were able to get hot, Trent was unable to help the Raptors keep pace with that cast of characters. In terms of pure disappointment, Trent’s showing takes the cake.

Trent was partially responsible for Toronto’s inability to defend the perimeter or offer any sort of resistance to Maxey’s career night. He won’t shoot this poorly all series long, but his inability to make timely 3-pointers or force turnovers in this contest highlighted how Toronto lacks the guard depth to stay competitive when GTJ is off his game.

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