The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors meet once again in the postseason, although the cast of characters has changed a bit this time around. These teams were involved in a wild seven-game series in 2018-19, with Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning shot in Game 7 highlighting the contest. Philadelphia has homecourt advantage this time around and won’t have to deal with Leonard. Here’s how the teams shape up heading into this matchup.
No. 4 76ers vs. No. 5 Raptors
Head-to-head record: Raptors 3-1
Overall record: 76ers 51-31, Raptors 48-34
Leading scorer on 76ers: Joel Embiid
Leading scorer on Raptors: Pascal Siakam
Odds to win series: 76ers -190, Raptors +145
The Philadelphia 76ers are back in the playoffs and although they don’t have the No. 1 seed like last season, they do have a talented tandem with James Harden and Joel Embiid. The supporting cast also appears to be better, largely due to the emergence of Tyrese Maxey. This is a somewhat unfortunate draw for the 76ers, who won’t have Matisse Thybulle for any games played in Toronto unless he changes his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine, since Canada’s vaccine mandate rules are more stringent. Without their top wing defender, the Sixers could have trouble in this particular matchup.
The Toronto Raptors had a stretch in which they qualified for the playoffs seven years in a row before failing to reach the postseason in 2020-21. The Raptors were allowed to play at their home arena this season after playing their home games in Tampa last season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Toronto played very well down the stretch of the regular season and avoided the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference. Toronto moved on from the Kyle Lowry era in the offseason and was led by Pascal Siakam, who leads the Raptors in scoring and rebounding.