As the 76ers trade Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid, they are in good position to beat Toronto before it’s too late. Can we expect a new NBA champion this year?

The “philly basketball team” is currently in the lead for the playoffs. The Philadelphia 76ers need to step on the Toronto Raptors’ throat before it’s too late.

The Philadelphia 76ers Need to Step on the Toronto Raptors' Throat Before It's Too Late

While there are concerns about Doc Rivers’ ability to make playoff adjustments and James Harden’s clutch gene, the Philadelphia 76ers must be pleased with their first appearance in the NBA Playoffs in 2022. The Pennsylvanians dominated the Toronto Raptors in Game 1, winning by a score of 20 points. That truth, though, does not diminish the feeling of urgency that exists on Monday night.

The Sixers cannot afford to let a wonderful chance slip through their fingers. With Scottie Barnes on the sidelines and a trip to Toronto on the horizon, Philadelphia must tighten their hold on the series.

The 76ers will benefit greatly from Scottie Barnes’ injury on Monday night.

It’s terrible form to wish for an injury in even the most competitive series. Scottie Barnes’ absence, on the other hand, might represent a turning moment for both the 76ers and the Raptors.

For those who haven’t seen much of the Canadian team, Barnes is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year. In terms of statistics, the youthful forward has taken his fair part of the weight, averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. When you go beyond the box score, though, things get much more spectacular. You’d believe Barnes was a seasoned veteran if you didn’t know he was in his first professional season.

“He has the potential to be a franchise-changer,” CBS Sports’ James Herbert noted. “On a team that plays a fast-paced, physically demanding style of basketball, Barnes plays the 13th most minutes in the league. He jumps virtually every opening tip, regularly plays point guard, constantly tells his coaches that he wants to defend stars, and generally appears to be having the time of his life.” Standing 6-foot-7 with a 7-3 wingspan, he jumps virtually every opening tip, regularly plays point guard, constantly tells his coaches that he wants to defend stars, and generally appears to be having the time of his life.”

It’s easy to understand how his absence will make things simpler for the 76ers from that viewpoint. With Barnes in street clothes and Gary Trent Jr. on the way, Philadelphia can focus more on Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet and challenge someone else to defeat them. Is it possible for OG Anunoby to score 35 points? It’s conceivable, but Doc Rivers would probably want to take his chances.

Toronto’s defensive calculus is also altered as a result of Barnes’ departure. He largely took on the role of marking James Harden in Game 1, although he hopped about the court to help out in other areas, spending 2:28 defending Joel Embiid. Without that mobility, the Raptors will have an even tougher time slowing down the 76ers.

Before losing Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia must grab the initiative.

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Scottie Barnes’ absence may, under normal circumstances, be more of a body blow, wearing Toronto down over the course of the series, rather than a one-punch knockout. However, there is another feature that sets this series apart from the others.

Matisse Thybulle, as you’ve probably heard, won’t be able to play in Toronto because he hasn’t taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination. While the guard may not be able to fill the box score, he has established himself as one of the best defenders in the league. His absence will further reduce the 76ers’ defensive depth, perhaps triggering a cascade of overcompensation.

It’s also interesting thinking about how his absence can interact with the psychological lift that comes with coming home. The Raptors will already be boosted by playing in front of their own supporters; think how confident they’ll be if they believe they can exploit a defensive flaw.

This emphasizes the importance of Philadelphia taking care of business on Monday night. They’ll be in the driver’s seat if they can maintain serve and grab a 2-0 series lead. The Sixers will return to Pennsylvania for a best-of-three series in the worst-case scenario. They’ll kill the Raptors’ collective confidence and cruise to two more wins in the best-case scenario.

However, if the Raptors win Game 2, it will be a different scenario. They’ll have the advantage of momentum, particularly with Philadelphia having an inferior team in Toronto. The tone of the series will alter as a result, putting additional pressure on James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Doc Rivers. A lengthier series might also offer Barnes more time to return, which is something that should be considered.

On Monday night, the 76ers would almost certainly be playing with house money. Given Scottie Barnes’ injury and the upcoming trip to Toronto, Philadelphia must dispel any doubts. Things will only grow harder if they don’t tread on Toronto’s proverbial neck and grab control of the series. provided the defensive statistics.

“More than 520 million doses of COVID-19 vaccination were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, to January 10, 2022,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). … Vaccines against COVID-19 are both safe and efficacious.”

When Was the Last Time the Philadelphia 76ers Won an NBA Championship? RELATED: When Was the Last Time the Philadelphia 76ers Won an NBA Championship?

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