Sixers Fans Should Have a “Glass Half Full” Reaction to Toronto’s Title

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody gave the Raptors a tougher test on their run to a title than the Philadelphia 76ers.

That’s a fact.

Some people will find that to be a negative, i.e. they’ll say, “well shit! we should have had them! but we let em off the hook!”

Other people will say, “you know what? we’re close… they needed a ridiculous final shot in game seven to eliminate the Sixers.”

I think I’d put myself in the latter category, the glass half full, where you take a step back and think, “hmm.. imagine if Joel Embiid was healthy in that series…” The Sixers had chances in games four and seven to dispatch Toronto, but it was half court offensive execution, missed shots, and some defensive rebounding that let them down.

The one thing that really stuck out to me like a sore thumb watching the Milwaukee and Golden State series is that both of those teams just did not have the size and athleticism on defense that the Sixers possess. We all should have a newfound respect for just how big the Sixers are and how disruptive they can be, how they did a great job limiting guys like Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Serge Ibaka in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Some things worth pointing out, after the jump:

  • In 12 games, the Bucks and Warriors only once held Toronto below 100 points in regulation. The Sixers did it three times.
  • Toronto put up a 115.9 offensive rating against the Warriors, but just a 108.0 number against the Sixers.
  • The Raptors scored ten more points on average, per game, in the finals.
  • VanVleet scored 14 points per game against the Warriors, 10 against the Bucks, and just two points per game against the Sixers.
  • Serge Ibaka: 11 points, 5 boards, and 1.7 blocks vs GSW, 9 points, 5 boards, 0.9 blocks vs. Sixers
  • Kyle Lowry: 13/5/6 vs. Sixers, 16/4/7 vs. Warriors, 19/6/5 vs. Bucks.
  • Raptors three point shooting: 37.4% vs Bucks, 35% vs. Warriors, 29.8% vs Sixers
  • pace: 96.2 in the finals, 94 flat in the semifinals (game was a little slower, teams trying to limit each other in transition)
  • The Warriors had trouble with Toronto on the glass, while Sixers beat the Raptors on the boards up until game seven.
  • Raptors: 45.5 field goal percentage vs. Warriors, 43.5 vs. Sixers.

So on and so forth. The Sixers really did a nice job of being disruptive on the defensive end and making things difficult for Toronto. They forced Nick Nurse to play Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol together while slimming the bench and going heavy on starter minutes. Brett Brown I thought did a nice job going back and forth with Nurse throughout that series, and I don’t think either guy outcoached the other. Steve Kerr, for instance, had some trouble helping his team navigate the box and one that Toronto used on Steph Curry, a strategy that obviously would not have been effective with a healthy Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant on the floor.

But it is what it is, yeah? The Raptors got by the Sixers with Embiid operating at maybe 60%. They beat Golden State without Durant. That shouldn’t take away any of their accomplishments though, because they were a sound two-way team from start to finish this season, a squad certainly deserving of an NBA title.

Sixers fans should feel reassured, not disappointed, that their squad gave Toronto the toughest test of the postseason. It’s good fuel for the “let’s run it back and give it another shot” mindset.

Just imagine if possessions like this had turned out differently:


21 Responses

  1. Was waiting to see who would be the first to write the “we barely lost to the champions so we were this close” story. The fact is they lost. They had their shot and came up short. Saying the Sixers would have beat the Bucks or Warriors is a futile argument. A real champion takes on all challengers. They don’t play the what if game. The “we were this close to beating the champions” take so tired that it deserves a spot on your top 50 list.

    1. The “Toronto made an impossible buzzer-beater or the Sixers would of [sic] won” is my favorite excuse since it pretends the game wasn’t tied and going to overtime where the Raps would have likely won anyway. Greatest lie propagated this side of Wentz’s “MVP” season and soccer being touted as a sport for people over 4 years of age.

      1. Kink you sound like like that fat tub of goo on the radio.
        You can take all your stupid stats and shove them.
        Excuses and silly stats, and we would have won IF are rubbish. Losers think this way, and the Sixers are the biggest losers of all.

      2. I agree the Sixers probably lose in overtime but you’re insane if you don’t think Wentz was the runaway MVP before getting hurt against the Rams. It wasn’t even close. He could have taken his dick out and waved to the crowd the last 4 games and won.

        1. Russell Wilson had far better a case for MVP that season. Accounted for more of his team’s offense and played tougher schedule. But no one wants to admit this, bc they’re drunk on ginger beer.

          1. Um, why didn’t Russell Wilson win? Umm, bc he doesn’t wear a Pats jersey, he just throws stupid interceptions at them in the SB.

          2. Wilson also outplayed Wentz head to head that season and Wentz’s numbers were mainly a result of stats-padding against really bad teams.

            I doubt Wentz beat Atlanta in those playoffs. Foles barely did.

          3. this is why the rest of the country hates us. and why Cataldi still steals money from WIP.

          4. The comment section of this site is the only place to get rational takes on the franchiiiise qb. Go to BGN if you want to get drunk on ginger beer. And I hate to break it to you people but Carson is already mawwied.

  2. Kawhi Leonard is a class act. No taunting, no ridiculous celebrations, no social media nonsense. Compare that to our “superstar” Embiid.

    Leonard is a winner, Embiid is an overrated loser.

    1. Why didn’t the Sixers front office trade Simmons for Kawhi? Then again, without BuzzFeed Bendall posts, the degenerate gambling articles on CB would have probably doubled.

  3. It’s fine as a “what if?”, but its a salve at best….nothing any Sixers fan should be puffing their chest out about. I’m not going to bother looking into the stats, but from what I saw, Van Vleet and Lowry got their legs under them after our series with them and The Raptors team that won last night was much more complete than the one we faced a month ago. I’m all for running it back and seeing if Simmons and Embiid take the loss to heart, but anybody whos walking around today saying we were the 2nd best team in the NBA this year is a dope.

  4. “If Kawhi hadn’t made that shot” is the new “if the fog hadn’t rolled into Chicago”?

    1. It’s worse because it this was a 7 game series. Explain the other three loses.

  5. The total was over and Iguodala had 22 points. You’re a micro phallused dunce and Wisconsin was not that tough of an out. Got any predictions on whether your wife’s banging another dude? Blow me.

  6. Congratulations 76ers! You were bounced for the 2nd consecutive year in the 2nd round! Glass half full for sure! My lord the loser mentality is strong with this fan base and the propaganda pushing radio hosts

  7. Kinker,

    Thanks for telling people how to think Kevin Stalin.

    Players who get coddled and are allowed to do whatever they want don’t
    win championships.
    THAT includes the sixers and their shitty front office antics.

  8. Last time I checked we still have the same moron coach that was playing embiid 40 minutes a night on back-to-backs in december and still have teh same moronic GM that manages to construct a roster with 4 back up centers who were all unplayable in the playoffs. That’s not even getting into the GeNeRaTiOnaL point guard that couldn’t manage to get more shot attempts than turnovers in a game 7.

Comments are closed.