Listed here are 10 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors‘ 131-111 Recreation 1 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
One — In brief, the whole thing that will have long past mistaken did move mistaken. The Raptors have been overrun in each sense of the phrase in Recreation 1, because the Sixers bullied and tricked the Raptors right into a shambolic show at the defensive finish.
To make issues worse, the Raptors suffered a couple of accidents, whilst having any other two gamers foul out. The Raptors made mini-runs within the 0.33 quarter to devour into the lead, however the Sixers had a reaction each time. The one positives to in reality remove are that many in their errors have been uncharacteristic and fully correctable.
Two — The Raptors want to tighten up their defence or this will probably be an overly brief sequence. Philadelphia scored 131 issues on 89 possessions, which ranks because the third-most environment friendly playoff efficiency within the final 26 years, consistent with John Schuhmann of NBA.com. The Raptors predictably offered out to power Joel Embiid and James Harden, however this wasn’t a schematic factor.
The Raptors merely made too many errors of their execution and were given burned for it. After all, it does not assist that the Sixers’ secondary scorers in Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris mixed for 65 issues on 35 photographs. The temptation will probably be to scrap all of the technique, however the prudent means is to chop out the inefficiencies. Embiid will all the time command a double group, and so will Harden to a big stage, however the Raptors need to be a lot sharper with their timing and rotations. Restricting their stars is handiest part the struggle. It additionally is going with out pronouncing that the Raptors need to be higher at the glass, and in transition.
3 — The most important adjustment is how the Raptors guard Harden. The Raptors have been stuck ball observing method too incessantly when Harden attacked from the highest, and he merely picked them aside together with his playmaking. The tactic in opposition to him will have to be to protect him immediately up, and to assist final 2nd on the basket — preferably from a 2nd defender who’s coming off a non-shooter.
Harden’s particular person scoring will have to be inspired, as he isn’t completing smartly on drives, and his step-back 3 is slightly inconsistent. The Raptors will have to be in search of extra of the ones seems, as an alternative of giving up broad open threes and cuts. It is going to take self-discipline to execute, because the Raptors were over-helping all season, however the sequence hinges in this. Harden burned the Raptors together with his passing greater than Embiid did together with his dimension, and that merely will have to now not be the case.
4 — Maxey torched the Raptors from begin to end. He discovered his rhythm early by means of feasting on open threes and together with his tempo in transition, earlier than single-handedly striking this recreation to mattress with 19 issues within the 0.33 quarter which thwarted each strive at a comeback. Maxey’s effectiveness has to do largely with how the Raptors overreact to Harden. The Raptors stored aiding off Maxey to color over, and the consider is obviously there from Harden the place he is actively taking a look to get Maxey the ball.
That is when he’s at his most deadly, as Maxey is each a risk to shoot from deep which calls for you to run him off the road, whilst additionally being frighteningly fast to force in opposition to the closeout. Maxey is moderately much less of a risk developing with the ball in his fingers, however it is all the time difficult if he is attacking off a display screen from Embiid, because the Raptors do not need to assist off him in any respect which opens up using lanes for Maxey to puncture the defence. The verdict the Raptors must make is whether or not they will have to shuffled the assignments. Fred VanVleet is the primary selection defender on opposing guards, however in all probability extra dimension would shorten the closeouts and provide extra of a problem for Maxey to shoot over.
5 — It took precisely one recreation for Nick Nurse to name out the officers. Relatively frankly, the Raptors have been sapped in their aggression from the beginning. Simply 8 seconds in, VanVleet used to be slapped with a bad for a wholly harmless little bit of power in opposition to Maxey. Not up to a minute later, he used to be hit for his 2nd foul in opposition to Embiid down low, which put an enormous goal on his again. The Sixers made some extent to head at VanVleet within the first part, figuring out that he may now not play bodily since he used to be on two fouls early and had his 0.33 with 4 mins left in the second one quarter.
The extra destructive calls have been the selections proficient to Embiid. Nurse decried that even if the Raptors have been on time and in position with their fingers immediately up, the foul used to be nonetheless given to Embiid, who himself used to be thrashing about handing over elbows and not using a unmarried penalty. It verged into the absurd in the second one part, when the officers began falling for Embiid and Harden’s trickery within the type of rip-through strikes or hooking the arm. The trick for the Raptors is to stay competitive regardless of the whistle, as a result of they stand no probability of shielding by means of backing off since the officers are of their head.
Six — The Raptors have been beat at their very own recreation in transition and at the glass. The Sixers have been a lot more diligent in how they safe the glass, with the largest distinction being Harden. Within the two video games in opposition to the Raptors within the common season, Harden used to be stuck drowsing for 8 offensive rebounds. This time, he used to be attentive and used to be actively taking a look to field out.
At the different finish, the Sixers went in opposition to conference for a Document Rivers group as they searched for their very own possibilities at the glass versus strictly working again on defence. Embiid all the time required two gamers to field him out, which intended that there used to be incessantly a spare guy looking ahead to the unfastened ball. That is nonetheless no excuse, alternatively, because the Raptors have been simply missing in attentiveness and physicality on that finish.
The extra worrisome pattern used to be how leaky the Raptors have been in transition, particularly after they failed to seek down offensive rebounds of their very own. The Sixers in most cases play sluggish, however they have been out and working early for 29 fast-break issues. Maxey used to be incessantly a one-man destroy as he accounted for 11 transition issues together with his blazing velocity within the open courtroom.
Seven — Scottie Barnes used to be the intense spot for the Raptors. The big name rookie got here two assists shy of a triple-double in his playoff debut and confirmed no indicators of hesitation. He most commonly operated with out the ball, however used to be competitive in all circumstances. He used to be well timed on cuts, drove it onerous to the rim, took the punishment to get to the road, and used to be noticeably extra attentive on protection. On most sensible of all of it, he performed together with his signature aptitude and pleasure for the sport, together with a no-look dart to a chopping Chris Boucher for one among his 8 dimes. It says so much about him that Barnes confirmed extra composure than one of the most veterans at the group.
8 — Probably the most harrowing second within the loss used to be Barnes’ damage. Embiid planted his foot and all 300 kilos of weight without delay into Barnes’ ankle, which left the 20-year-old writhing in ache and fully immobilized. One way or the other, simply as previous within the recreation when Embiid elbowed Khem Birch within the temple which knocked him out for the part as he used to be checked for a concussion, the officers didn’t forestall the play for the damage.
As a substitute, VanVleet needed to take his 6th foul of the sport simply to get Barnes some badly-needed scientific consideration as Barnes used to be helped to the locker room by means of teammates. It used to be now not the one infringement at the night time, as Thad Younger’s thumb used to be dislocated early within the recreation whilst Harden wrestled him to the ground over a unfastened rebound. OG Anunoby additionally took a shot to the top from Harden which led to him to lose his touch, and Gary Trent Jr. used to be additionally noticed chatting with the top instructor. Barnes additionally took a shove to the top from Embiid on a flagrant foul previous within the fit. It is onerous to just accept such a lot carnage in only one recreation.
9 — The Raptors badly want Trent Jr. to step up. He used to be the least productive starter by means of some distance, and his decision-making used to be off on each ends. He’s most commonly in for his offense, however he used to be forcing photographs, lacking obtrusive reads, and baiting for fouls with out the big name cachet from the officers. Defensively, he used to be passive and now not crisp together with his assist protection. There used to be already a case to be made that the Raptors will have to have began larger and swapped out Trent Jr. for a middle to compare up with Embiid, however that possibility is much less palatable if Barnes and Younger are unavailable, so the Raptors are simply left to journey out Trent Jr.’s inconsistencies. It is simply unlucky that he stays so streaky, as a result of consistency is what is going to take Trent Jr.’s occupation to the following degree. What just right is a participant who can rating 30 issues on a sizzling night time when they are accompanied by means of single-digit no-shows?
Ten — Chris Boucher is simply too necessary to the Raptors to be so unavailable. Did Boucher obtain a pleasant whistle? No. A minimum of two of his six fouls have been bogus. However he cannot be in a state of affairs the place he choices up 3 fouls in 4 mins which totally takes him out of the primary part, two of which led to 5 loose throws for the Sixers. Boucher’s task as a assist defender on the basket is a pivotal technique in opposition to Embiid and Harden on the basket (even though Rivers’ resolution to restrict Thybulle and Reed’s mins as non-shooters did prohibit Boucher’s roaming), and his talent to hit threes would possibly make the Sixers consider carefully about loading up within the paint. Boucher’s battle is very similar to Trent Jr.’s, in that they each regressed into dangerous behavior when the power used to be felt. They want to struggle that urge and keep cast as they every have been this season.