The NBA Playoffs are finally underway. Your Philadelphia 76ers just started their seven-game series against the Toronto Raptors. A lot of doubt swirling around the Sixers fanbase. Can James Harden shake his playoff woes? Will Maxey keep his impressive sophomore season going? Will Embiid show why he should be MVP? This doubt didn’t keep the Wells Fargo Center from jumping. The dominating performance in game one is what this team and city needed to change the narrative.
Out of the Gate
Danny Green gets the start over Thybulle. Rivers could be getting this team to live life without Thybulle.
The Raptors start pressing early. Fred Vanvleet with two fouls in a couple of minutes. The sixers show they can get the offensive rebounds needed to win. Tobias Harris starts scoring early (7 points). That is precisely what this team needed. Embiid is drawing the early fouls and showing why he is the scoring champion. Doc Rivers is rotating the bench early with Milton, Thybulle, and Niang. 35-27 Sixers after one.
At The Half
Maybe Doc Rivers heard what everyone was saying this week. He gives Paul Reed a chance off the bench to start the second. Deandre Jordan was no where to be seen.
Harris continues his scoring in the second. At the end of the half, Harris was the scoring leader with 16 points. Embiid gets called for a flagrant foul. Very questionable, especially for the playoffs.
Tyrese Maxey puts up three triples in the first half (15 points in the half). Vanvleet tallies up three fouls in the first half changing Embiids mailing address to the foul line.
Harden is playing aggressively, not just settling for the long points. With 10 points and seven assists, he looks like the Harden that joined us in February. With a dominating performance on both ends of the court, they end the half with a 69-51 lead.
The defense was a key to the game. The Sixers put up 16 fast breakpoints to the Raptors 4. Siakam was held to 8 points in the first half. Only two Toronto players are in double digits. (Barnes with 11 and Anunoby with 10). No turnovers in the entire first half.
After the Break
The third is where the real test starts for Philly. Can they keep their foot on the gas up 18 points at the beginning of the second half?
The refs become whistle-happy. Another flagrant foul but this time against the Sixers. The Raptors go on a 12-2 run in the first half of the third quarter. Harden answers with a quick triple and two-pointer for five points. The Harden to Maxey connection scores two and forces Nick Nurse to call a timeout. Tyrese Maxey continues to unload after the timeout.
Tyrese Maxey is the youngest Sixers player ever to score at least 30 points in a playoff game. The previous-youngest was Hall of Famer Maurice Cheeks who had 33 pts on April 22, 1979, against San Antonio. He was 22 years, and 226 days old. Maxey is not yet 22. The Sixers ended the third up 19 points with a 107-88 lead. Can the 76ers keep up the dominating performance?
In the End
The 76ers need to keep their foot on the throat of Toronto. At this point, you have more to gain than a win. Time to demoralize them for games going forward.
A scary injury for the Raptors, Scotty Barnes. He stepped in the way of Embiid and his foot and ankle got caught under the big man. He was helped off the court. Followed by Vanvleet getting fouled out doesn’t help the Raptors.
Things are starting to get heated with Cameroon rivals with a little over eight minutes left in the fourth. The Sixers continue to the onslaught offensively and defensively.
Huge block from my MVP. With the gameplay of Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and company how can you not be excited? The dominating performance in game one may be the blueprint for the series and playoffs. Defense is key. The 76ers dominated 126-106.
Tyrese Maxey put up 38 points, 2 Assists, and 4 rebounds. He was the leading scorer. Tobias Harris stepped up big time with 26 points, 6 Assists, and 6 rebounds. Embiid and Harden have a combined for 41 points.
Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.