It’s a series of giants in the Eastern Conference with stars on both rosters giving each other everything they’ve had this entire series. Now it all comes down to a winner-take-all in Game 7.
The Toronto Raptors come in as the favorite with home-court advantage and a scorching hot Kawhi Leonard on their side. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s loaded lineup found its rhythm in Game 6 and that could mean big things on Sunday night.
Game details: Here’s a look at the start time, television info and betting odds for Sunday’s Game 7 clash between Philadelphia and Toronto.
- When: 7 p.m. EST
- Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
- TV: TNT
- Betting Line: TOR -6/209
The overview: After the 76ers jumped out to a 2-1 series lead, Toronto roared right back with two consecutive wins and plenty of momentum going into Game 6.
Fortunately for Philadelphia, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid found their form and the three-headed monster with Jimmy Butler dominated Thursday’s easy win. In a series that has gone back-and-forth, Game 7 offers the chance to witness superstars battle with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line.
Let’s take a look at our five bold predictions for this series-deciding clash between the Raptors and 76ers.
Kyle Lowry ends the series on a horrendous note
The 2019 playoffs will be a time to forget for Lowry and it could get even worse if he falters here. The 33-year-old’s reputation when games really count isn’t the greatest, so he can’t afford to fall short on Sunday.
Unfortunately for him, that’s going to happen. This is Kawhi Leonard’s team and Lowry’s consistency as a scorer is disappearing faster than his explosiveness. Philadelphia can and will stop Lowry on Sunday and turn him into an afterthought in the box score.
The Raptors will still have Leonard to take over this game, but he might be the only one to step up in a pivotal Game 7.
JJ Redick makes six three-pointers
When a streaky shooter gets hot, there is no one on this earth who can stop him. That’s exactly why the 76ers brought Redick in and they’ll be hoping for a special night from him in Game 7.
Redick is shooting 39.5 percent from three-point range in this series and shot 50-plus percent in two contests. He’s a safe bet to put up at least seven three-point attempts per game and in one of the biggest games in his career, the veteran should come up big in crucial moments.
If Redick can get hot out of the gate, Butler, Embiid and Simmons will all start feeding him outside. He’ll be given the green light on Sunday night and fans should prepare themselves for Redick to make it rain with triples in Toronto.
Kawhi Leonards posts a 50-burger
While Leonard loves to downplay personal accomplishments and remains focused on team-oriented goals, Game 7 is going to be about Leonard and if he can deliver another stunning performance.
He is the MVP of this series and is capable of carrying this team to the NBA Finals. We’ve seen it throughout his matchups against the 76ers and fans will witness it in Game 7.
Leonard set the tone in Game 1 with a 45-point effort and he’ll need to meet that level of usage and efficiency in this contest. He can’t be afraid to take 25-plus shots and when combined with his ability to get to the line consistently, the pieces are there for a monster game. The question is, will it be enough against Philadelphia’s loaded but inconsistent lineup.
Joel Embiid records 25-plus points, 12-plus rebounds and five blocks
The illness and injuries seem to be behind Embiid and that is dangerous news for the Raptors.
After missing seven of his first eight shots in Game 6, the star center started to heat up in the second half and find his groove. He is a defensive force in the paint and given his love for being a thorn in the side of opponents in big moments, watch for Embiid to create a block party in Canada.
If Embiid can find his shot earlier in the game, while avoiding unnecessary outside jumpers, then he should coast to 20-plus points. Sprinkle in a dominant night on the glass and a swat-fest near the rim, it would be a night to remember for Embiid.
76ers save Brett Brown’s job
At a time when the number of available high-end coaches is low in the NBA, Philadelphia’s management seems intent on firing Brett Brown. If his job is in jeopardy, expect his players to step up to try and save their coach.
The 76ers will need Simmons to be more aggressive in this game and his coach’s job being on the line could provide that spark. A loss could lead Philadelphia to make a massive gamble this offseason by firing Brown and searching for his replacement while trying to re-sign Butler and Tobias Harris.
It’s a situation that must be avoided and even with the drama created by management, the talent on this team in combination with a very good coach is enough to overcome it and win Game 7 on the road.