Bold predictions for 76ers vs. Raptors Game 5

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors are all knotted up at two games apiece in their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup heading into Game 5.

Game details: Here’s a look at the start time, television information and odds for 76ers vs. Raptors Game 5.

The big picture: Neither team has been able to establish any sort of significant edge in this compelling series so far. But the team that wins Tuesday night will have just one victory remaining to move onto the next round.

We’re going bold with some predictions for this pivotal Game 5.

Ben Simmons continues to struggle

One of the most dangerous players the NBA has to offer in the open court, Simmons’ impact has been largely negated in this series against Toronto. The game has slowed down, and with that, Simmons’ inability to create his own shot and hit from outside has been a glaring problem.

In Game 4, Simmons hit half his shots (5-10) from the field but was shut down inside during the first half and went 0-2 from the stripe. He also got into foul trouble trying to guard Kawhi Leonard and failed to get his teammates involved (just four assists). All this led to Philly going minus-16 while Simmons was on the court. Unfortunately, we don’t see that trend shifting in Game 5.

Pascal Siakam rebounds with 25-plus points

Siakam was a game-time decision on Sunday with a calf injury suffered in Game 3. He played well on the defensive end but struggled big time shooting the ball, which really wasn’t surprising given he was gutting out the injury.

Heading into Game 5, Siakam isn’t listed on Toronto’s injury report. With that in mind, he should get back to becoming a main scoring weapon for the Raptors. He was unstoppable back in Game 1, shooting 12-of-15 from the floor en route to a 29-point effort. That’s the kind of game we’re expecting him to engineer on Tuesday.

Joel Embiid silences the critics

Embiid was sick once again on Sunday. He needed IV fluids at 6 a.m. that morning just to get himself onto the court.

For a while, it looked like he was going to lead Philadelphia to victory despite all that, and despite a dismal day offensively. The Sixers were plus-17 with Embiid on the court.

Then, late in the game he lost all steam and couldn’t even convert key free throws — typically one of his great strengths. Afterward, his critics felt emboldened.

Embiid took his performance hard, telling reporters, “I got to be more aggressive. Today wasn’t the same as [Game 3]. Staying aggressive, especially offensively, I’ve got to help my teammates better. But still on me.”

Look out, Toronto. Embiid has something to prove. That’s bad news for his opponent.

Kawhi Leonard finally cools off

In case you have missed the first four games of this series, here’s how hot Leonard has been: He’s put up stats the NBA hasn’t seen in the postseason since Michael Jordan in the 1993 NBA Finals.

What Leonard has done as a shooter is astonishing. He’s hit 55-of-89 from the field and made no less than 13 shots while averaging 38 points per game. Despite all that, we’re boldly predicting a significant cool down as Leonard fails to reach 25 points and struggles from the floor in Game 5.

Sixers edge Raptors to go up 3-2

These two teams have split the series right down the middle so far, both having won a game on the road. Despite predicting another rough night for Simmons in Game 5, the Sixers will get enough from everyone else to pull off an upset in Toronto Tuesday night.

We’re looking for Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick to have strong performances from the floor to complement Embiid inside. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry will once again struggle after a strong performance in Game 4, and the Raptors will head back to Philly needing a win in Game 6 to stay alive.