Ben Simmons' 76ers throttle Raptors in National Basketball Association

Brown knows slowing Leonard won't be easy | News, Sports, Jobs

There are no guarantees other than Leonard's ride won't be turning into a pumpkin.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets picked up a 121-113 home win over the Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their Western Conference second-round clash. When the Raptors lost last year or the year before or the year before that, LeBron was always in the way. Teams that are down 3-1 have gone on to lose the series in the National Basketball Association about 96 per cent of the time according to WhoWins.com.

It's fitting that Leonard was the only Raptors player to take the podium because he was the only Raptor who showed up.

The 76ers are nearly resigned to Leonard getting his big numbers.

While all the talk in Philly has been about how this series is the biggest the city's team has played in years, Sixers coach Brett Brown predicted his players wouldn't be affected by the hype. Jamal Crawford, who has played 19 seasons, might return for a 20th after dropping 51 points late in the season. It is for sure risky. Their opponents have averaged 107.7 points on 42.5 per cent shooting. With Embiid at full strength in Game 3, he was able to push Gasol around on the block and he even threw down a windmill jam just for the fun of it. Gasol needs to get Embiid back under control, or this series is over. Their net rating is 7.2.

But they missed six of their first seven shots in the final period and the 76ers held on for the win.

With Leonard on the floor, Toronto outscored Philadelphia 97-71. They have scored 54.1 points/100 possessions with a net rating of -52.5. Sagarin has Philadelphia projected as a very slight favorite of 0.20 points, while the spreads have them at +1.5, up from +1 when the lines first hit the board.

During the regular season, the same group of Raptors thrived when Leonard was being load managed. He said it didn't matter what the feeling since this game was meant a lot to them. Extrapolated over an entire season the Kawhi-less Raptors would have been the equivalent of a 63-win team that was third in the league in scoring and second in assists.

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Leonard is single-handedly keeping the Raptors alive.

But the Brooklyn Nets forward mate one hell of an impression when his team faced Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Are the Raptors, like everyone else, too caught up in watching Leonard paint the analytic version of the Mona Lisa?

"It was hard to watch", Nurse said of seeing the game on tape afterwards.

It's the finest of all balancing acts. "We won Game 1, but at the same time we knew it wasn't going to be an easy series". And any shot that they make beyond 23 feet 9 inches is worth three points.

"We're being unselfish, and we have to be more selfish", Lowry told ESPN. "Just for a few moments there. Going home we just need to do the same thing we did tonight". When the team is at its best, they look like a legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors. We're not giving him any help. "We have to help Kawhi and Pascal, and score more and be a little bit more assertive". "We got our ass kicked after".

Leonard has done more than his part. We can execute better. With their superstar slotman slowed by intestinal problems and, at the same time, forced by Siakam to exert extra effort on coverage, they needed to get their points elsewhere.

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