Tonight the Philadelphia 76ers are facing a must-win game six. All the Sixers mid-season moves will certainly be analyzed after tonight. A win and all is well. A loss and well this could be a different team next year. The Raptors won game five in convincing fashion 125-89 and 82% of teams who win game five win the series. So what can the Sixers do to live another day? Here are three things they must do tonight to win.
1. Start fast
In the Sixers two wins, they have gotten off to good starts and have led by double digits at halftime. Two of their three losses have been in blowout fashion and in all three losses they have trailed at halftime. In what could be the last home game of the season a fast start is critical. The home crowd will be itching for something to cheer about and see their team in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In game five the Raptors led by double digits early on and rode that momentum all the way to a win. The Sixers need to get Embiid going early. In the two wins, he’s averaging 22.5 points per game while in the three losses he averaging just 13.6 points per game.
2. Ben Simmons must have a great game
Simmons looked like an All-Star in the first round against Brooklyn. Fired up by Jared Dudley, Simmons averaged 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists in the five-game series. However, against the Raptors, it’s been a different story. Simmons is averaging just 9.4 points and 4.6 assists and has been fare less aggressive. Yes, we know Simmons Jumper isn’t there but that combined with him not being aggressive is a recipe for disaster. For the Sixers to win tonight the LSU product must up the ante by attacking the paint and upping the tempo.
3. Force someone other than Kawhi to beat you
Kawhi Leonard has been a machine in these playoffs. He’s averaging 31.2 points per game on 57% shooting and in this series, vs the Sixers, he’s averaging 34.6. So what exactly can be done about this? It sounds cliche but Philly has to force someone else to make plays.
Leonard is going to get his but you have to make him work for it. Send some double teams, switch matchups, etc. Pascal Siakam is not 100%, Playoff Kyle Lowry is average at best and Danny Green and Marc Gasol are not dominant scorers. In game three Leonard had 33, Siakam had 20 but only one other Raptors player reached double figures. In game four Leonard, Siakam and Lowry were the only players in double figures. With their backs against the wall, you have to try everything possible to get The Klaw off his game.
Three things the Sixers must do tonight
Game 6 tips at 8 pm tonight. What other keys to the game do the Sixers need to reach to force a game 7? Let us know below.