Don’t expect much brotherly love on Thursday, May 2 as the Raptors take on the 76ers in Philadelphia. Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series gets underway at 8:00 p.m. EST from Wells Fargo Center.
The Butler Did It
The Sixers needed one of their Big Four to step up in Game 2, and that’s precisely what happened as Jimmy Butler had 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead Philadelphia to a decisive 94-89 win. The four-time All-Star hit four three-pointers and had 12 points in the final quarter to seal the victory for the visiting 76ers.
Game 3: Thursday (5/2), 8pm/et, ESPN pic.twitter.com/H560pCZWh8
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2019
Brett Brown was full of superlatives for his swingman after the game, playfully referring to him as “James” because of his mature approach. “He was just a tremendous rock,” Brown gushed. “He willed us to a lot of different situations. He was a stud.”
brett brown: “That was JAMES Butler, he was the adult in the room” pic.twitter.com/ibb35ARLnB
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) April 30, 2019
Embiid Showed Up… and Then Showed Up Siakam
Joel Embiid was far from 100% for Game 2 due to a nasty stomach bug, but he made his presence felt with his sensational defense on Pascal Siakam. The Cameroonian center held the Raptors’ second-leading scorer to 21 points on 25 shots and did a tremendous job of moving his feet and taking Siakam out of his comfort zone. It was a gusty call by Brown and it will be fascinating to see if he sticks with the assignment for Game 3.
Joel Embiid putting in some extra work: pic.twitter.com/5kinP2fFek
— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) May 1, 2019
Raptors Need Better Bench Production
Toronto’s bench averaged 36.2 points per game during the regular season, but managed only five in Game 2. The Raptors need far better performances from Serge Ibaka, whose scoring average has dropped by seven points in the postseason, and Fred VanVleet, who has finished with double digits just once since the playoffs began. Both players are too talented – and too important – to be non-factors moving forward.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 29, 2018
Philadelphia 76ers vs Toronto Raptors Regular Season Statistical Comparison
|111.5 (8th)||Offensive Rating||112.5 (5th)|
|115.2 (4th)||Points||114.4 (8th)|
|26.9 (4th)||Assists||25.4 (13th)|
|47.1 (8th)||Field-Goal Percentage||47.4 (5th)|
|35.9 (8th)||Three-Point Percentage||36.6 (6th)|
|+2.7 (11th)||Plus/Minus||+6.1 (3rd)|
|108.9 (14th)||Defensive Rating||106.8 (5th)|
|112.5 (19th)||Points||108.4 (9th)|
|45.5 (10th)||Field-Goal Percentage||44.9 (5th)|
|34.2 (4th)||Three-Point Percentage||34.5 (8th)|
|51.2 (24th)||Points In The Paint||47.5 (9th)|
Raptors Favored by the Narrowest of Margins
Sportsbooks are believers in these high-powered offenses, as they’ve set the game total at a robust 215, with the Raptors opening as 1.5-point favorites. Toronto is 42-47-0 against the spread this year and 48-41-0 over/under, compared to 43-46-0 ATS and 45-44-0 over/under for Philadelphia.