Posts for raptors

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

Kevin Kinkead - June 14, 2019

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:

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Toronto Sports Fans Now Know What it’s Like to be Philadelphia Sports Fans

Kevin Kinkead - June 11, 2019

Did you hear that SOME Toronto fans cheered Kevin Durant’s injury last night? Raptors players had to tell those fans  to knock it off, because it was out of line and uncalled for.

Those fans are, indeed assholes. However, only SOME are assholes, because we wouldn’t want to let the actions of the few define the many, resulting in stereotypes being placed on an entire metropolitan area of millions of people. Let’s take a step back and use some common sense and nuance here:

As a general rule, we should skip Twitter every day.

But please join me in welcoming Toronto Raptors fans to the world of Philly sports and the battle we’ve been fighting since the dawn of creation – this corny idea that a few dumbasses represent our entire region.

For example:

  • SOME Eagles fans cheered Michael Irvin’s injury (but not all)
  • SOME idiots booed the selection of Donovan McNabb at the 1999 NFL draft (but not all)
  • SOME people threw snowballs at Santa Claus (like half a century ago)
  • SOME fans got into fights in the Veterans Stadium nosebleed section (but not all)
  • SOME people clobber each other in the Lincoln Financial Field parking lot (but not all)

The national media will tell you that these things ONLY happen in Philadelphia, despite the hundreds of examples of conflict taking place other cities as well. Just last week, Bruins fans hammered each other in the Boston Garden upper levels during the game five loss.

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Marc Zumoff Is As Mad As You Are

Chris Jastrzembski - May 12, 2019

If you don’t know by now, Kawhi Leonard just killed the Sixers’ season with an unreal buzzer-beater that sent Joel Embiid into the locker room crying.

From the NBC Sports Philadelphia studios. Marc Zumoff, just like all of us:

Pretty sure most of us had the same reaction across the Delaware Valley. His “Nooooooo!” sounds exactly like his “Yes!” calls but on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Sad. Dark. Negative. Painful.

Let ’em Off the Hook – Observations from Raptors 101, Sixers 96

Kevin Kinkead - May 6, 2019

The Toronto Raptors are who we thought they were. They’re a great team but they’re very beatable. That’s why the Sixers took the damn floor!

Now, if you wanna crown ’em, then crown their asses! But the Sixers let ’em off the hook. And now we’re headed to Toronto for game five.

Kinda hard to win when three of your five starters don’t have good offensive games, yeah? Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid finished a combined 14-40 from the floor (35%) while Harris alone was 2-13 from three (15.4%). They just could not find any consistent offense outside of Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick, who led the Sixers with 29 and 19 points, respectively.

The offensive struggles were exemplified by a fourth quarter in which the Sixers went about seven minutes without a basket, compounded especially by the ailing Joel Embiid’s poor individual play. It was a “grind it out” affair, as Nick Nurse said post game, and the Raptors simply grinded out more meaningful possessions on both ends of the floor to even the series at 2-2.

That’s the most simple explanation; Toronto just made more plays on a night where the Sixers had a great opportunity to go up 3-1 in this series. Instead, Brett Brown’s team shot 40.2% from the floor, 31.6% from three, and 72% from the foul line while losing in almost every auxiliary category, from second chance points (15-13) to fast break points (17-10) and points in the paint (38-34).

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Laying the Smack Down – Observations from Sixers 116, Raptors 95

Kevin Kinkead - May 3, 2019

That was impressive.

I mean, holy mackerel. When Joel Embiid hit that windmill dunk in the 4th quarter I thought the roof was gonna fly off the Wells Fargo Center and land next to the Italian restaurant in the Navy Yard. I think that dunk reverberated throughout the building with such force that even the rat living in the ceiling heard it and scurried to a new location.

What a night for your team, your town, your 76ers, who pulled their starters around the five minute mark of the 4th quarter after staving off a Toronto run and building an insurmountable 20-point lead. They passed the ball well, they shot the ball well, they limited their turnovers, and they cranked the defense all the way up to 11, like a Spinal Tap guitar amplifier.

They won in pretty much every phase of this game, which Toronto head coach Nick Nurse admitted to the gathered scribes afterward:

“I think we got outplayed in just about every area we could get outplayed. In overall physicality, energy, cutting, rebounding, passing, all that kind of stuff. We got thoroughly outplayed and it’s been a while, it’s been a while since you’ve seen this team play this way.”

Yep. The Sixers made the Raptors look rather pedestrian on Thursday night, and outside of a 3rd quarter where Kawhi Leonard looked like Michael Jordan reincarnate, it was a rather comfortable ride from start to finish.

Namely, Brett Brown’s team performed extremely well in the following areas:

  • 52 points in the paint (+14 from game two)
  • 13 turnovers resulting in only 12 Toronto points (down from 20 and 24 respectively in game two)
  • 13 fast break points
  • 9 offensive rebounds leading to 15 second chance points
  • 20-23 free throw mark (87%)
  • 29 assists on 43 made shots
  • 10-23 from three (43.5%)
  • 43-84 from the floor (51.2%)

They were superb across the board and looked like a juggernaut on both ends of the floor.

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Sixers Notes: Turnovers, Early Offense, and the Mike Scott Tattoo

Kevin Kinkead - May 1, 2019

Mike Scott took his place in front of gathered media on Wednesday afternoon and remarked at how high the microphone stand was raised in front of him.

“What’s up y’all? Shit. Is this for Jo? God damn,” he said.

Scott missed games one and two of the Eastern Conference semifinals with what the Sixers call “heel contusion/plantar fasciitis – right foot,” but participated in Wednesday’s walkthrough and also took part in some 3v3 work after the session.

“Feels good. We’ll see about playing,” the veteran said of game three. “But it feels better every day. Continue to get treatments, continue to work out. Feels better though. It felt good to get up and down the court again, get a sweat.”

Scott is out of the walking boot entirely and returned his scooter, which he described as “dope.” He was able to do some shooting, defensive rebounding, and sliding in a Tuesday workout as well.

He’s also looking forward to playing in front of a Philly crowd again and shouted out a Sixers fan who recently got himself a Mike Scott tattoo, after the jump:

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Crossing Broadcast: Sixers/Raptors, Ben/Embiid, Eagles Draft, The Night King

Russ Joy - April 30, 2019

Kevin and Russ break down the Sixers’ adjustments in Game 2 against the Raptors, what we could see in Game 3, Jimmy Butler’s huge game, Jay Wright turning down UCLA, a Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid hypothetical, and more. They then recap the Eagles’ draft and more Kate Smith fallout. The final segment includes Twitter questions and reactions to Game of Thrones S8E3 “The Long Night”.

Please subscribe to the show ([iTunes/Apple Podcasts] [Spotify][Google Play] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter: @Kevin_Kinkead @JoyOnBroad

Check out the other shows on the Crossing Broad Podcast Network including: Crossed Up: A Phillies PodcastSnow the Goalie: A Flyers PodcastIt’s Always Soccer in Philadelphia, and Crossing Broad FC: A Soccer Podcast.

Audio after the jump:
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Three Adjustments for the Sixers to Make in Game Two

Kevin Kinkead - April 29, 2019

Game two tonight in Toronto.

The Sixers looked out of sync offensively in game one while Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam looked like the second coming of Michael Jordan and Karl Malone out there.

Assuming those guys function more like humans and less like robots on Monday night, here are three things the Sixers can try to do to give themselves a chance to steal a road game up in Ontario.

1. Keep Ben on Kawhi as much as possible

45 points on 69.6% shooting for Kawhi Leonard in game one.

The guy who did the best job defending him was Ben Simmons, who held Kawhi to 4-9 shooting, including an 0-3 three-point mark while forcing a turnover and committing just one shooting foul.

For comparison, here’s how the rest of the Sixers fared:

Not well.

They did not fare well.

Kawhi shot 12 for 13 against the trio of Jimmy Butler, James Ennis, and Tobias Harris, who matched up with him on 45 possessions.

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