Welcome to Limbo. It’s not half as bad.
After a few months in the play-off spot, the Toronto Raptors have an eternity ahead of them playing the next important game. Or at least it seems that way. With the Eastern Conference standing worse than sixth and not better than fifth, Toronto knows their fate, they don’t know who they share it with.
The playoffs will begin next weekend when the Philadelphia 76ers arrive at the Scotiabank Arena as one of three potential opponents, with Milwaukee and Boston among other prospects.
This explains why the Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is not too worried about whether his team will hold their lead over sixth-placed Chicago or whether the Bulls (who hold the tiebreaker on the Raptors) will return from one and a half games. To occupy the fifth place.
“I am just trying to figure out why [matter] Better a poor horse than no horse at all, “said the nurse.
No matter where they end up or who they play, the story will be the same: the Raptors will start the play-offs against a good team.
The nurse’s only wish – in addition to good health – is to keep her club sharp in the last three games, even if they don’t carry a lot of weight in the stands.
“I say hate to get into the mind is not the consequence [important]The nurse said, “To me, we want to win and we want to play really well, period.”
Thus the most important development for the evening was that former rapper Danny Green got his 2019 championship ring.
It took a while. Green has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for 2019-20 and the Lakers have never been to Toronto before stopping play for the epidemic. He has been with Philadelphia for the past two seasons and has stated that he would like to receive his ring at the Scotiabank Arena in front of an entire house. It canceled recognition last season when the Raptors were in Tampa.
This season it looked like December 28thM The day will come, but Green eventually got into COVID and the Raptors will eventually have to play without fans, so Green will probably push it back anyway.
At last the moment arrived and Green was given his bubble, which contained 640 diamonds – at that time – The largest championship ring in terms of weight, including the largest diamond and the largest single diamond.
In other words, the wait is worth it.
As for the rest?
The mission was completed as the Raptors reached the occasion for a 119-114 win over the Sixers, raising their record to 47-33 and consolidating their hold on fifth place with two remaining.
Leading another impressive performance by Pascal Siakam who finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, surpassed Cameroonian Joel MBD, whose sixes had 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Toronto won its second inning and 13M The team has time in its last 16 games to end the season on the hitter. Siakam’s signature moment – or one of many – It’s a big pump net that carried the Philadelphia MVP candidate into the air, helpless as Siakam softly set it up and drove Toronto six in less than two minutes.
Just to be sure, Siakam thrashed the Raptors at number seven in a three-point game to secure the win with 32.1 seconds left. The only drama was whether Siam would get its second triple-double in a week. He did just eight seconds to record the fourth 30-point triple-double in franchise history.
There were MVP songs when Siakam was on the free throw line, and why not?
Siakam has done much better, repeatedly showing that he is becoming a player who can play with defense as he controls speed with his ball-handling and can attack or create to score depending on what the defense provides. .
There were plenty of helping hands, though, as Gary Trent Jr. has added 30 points to his best game since the All-Star break and Scotty Burns continues his case for the best rookie of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, the valuable Achiwa, who started when the Raptors decided to rest Fred Vanvolit, proved once again that his post-All-Star rise could be a thing as he finished with 20 points while going 5-of-7 from three parts. . The 15-of-33 attack from deep to the sixes needed to get to the 19-for-36, which led Green to a 6-of-7 deep night in his old gym.
Siakam entered a clinic in the third quarter as he led all scorers with 15 points in 7-of-10 shootings, most of which he kept in a string of sixers defenders while managing from the middle of the floor. When they sent another defender, the ball slipped out of his hands and into the hands of a teammate to look good. Siakam finished fourth with 12 points and two assists to end the third quarter in a six-minute flurry, giving Toronto an 87-85 lead.
With some weekends off the season and five or six days off before their series starts, the Raptors will want to rest some key players. Vanville wanted to get his sick knee just before the game. The hope is that OG Anunoby – who missed his third game with a bruised thigh – could be ready to play the final game of the regular season in New York on Sunday. With the Raptors playing on the second night of the home game against downtown Houston on Friday, there are likely to be a number of regular street wear or less in minutes.
Matisse Thaibul started in the green part after the Sixers left Philadelphia because he had not been vaccinated and could not cross the border. This can be a factor if the two teams meet in the first round which will be based on standing before the tip. Thaibul will be unavailable from Philadelphia’s best wing defender and games 3 and 4 of the first round series of seven games.
In that case, Green is more than a capable back-up. With just four three-point attempts off the bench at 36.9 percent, Green is still a threat, although he hasn’t shot as deeply in Toronto as he did when he connected at 45.5 percent, among them at least five attempts per second in the NBA. But he is still a threat and remains a determined defender and smart in the concept of a team.
“I always called him the sticky guy for that team, which is an important thing,” the nurse said. “An experienced person who won a lot, was a great professional, was available. I don’t think he felt too much in the season, but he always wanted to go there and play, loved to play. And he has brought a lot of winning qualities to the team. “
Of course, the Sixers are happy to have four-time NBA champions in their lineup.
“He’s close to winning, he knows the features [winning] The team, “said Docs Rivers, head coach of the Sixers. “She knows how hard it is to win, she knows all the things she needs. I say it all the time, people have no idea how hard it is to win.
“You’re right [Toronto] It won a few years ago and you understand that. It’s so ruthlessly hard to win, that’s right.
Danny has done this several times in his career, four or five, I don’t even know how many he has. Just awesome but every time we talk about it, he’ll tell you, when I finish work I first think how hard it is. How many things have to go your way. The break you get. One-point game. Loose ball. It comes down to all that stuff.
The fact that he was on the right side of it is quite impressive. “
Three minutes after the ring ceremony, the Green Sixers rolled over after hitting a corner where Siakam and Vanvolit presented him with his jewelry on Center Court in front of a grateful crowd. And the Sixers keep rolling. Philadelphia hit their first five shots – all three of them – as they took a 17-2 lead in the first five minutes of the first quarter. But even the short-handed, Raptors maintained it. Siakam scores seven quick points and finds Chris Boucher for a dunk. Sikkim finished with 11 points in the quarter as Toronto trailed 33-26 in the second period, although the Sixers were 9 from deep.
Gary Trent Jr. hit a pair of triplets around Chris Boucher as Toronto advanced as they warmed up from the deep. Achiever picked up another Raptors five as the big man was on the full court – hitting the floor to recover a loose ball before getting up and sprinting out at break to finish a pin-point pass from Siakam. He had nine in the quarterfinals, but Philadelphia took a 60-56 lead in the half, finishing halfway through 20-11.
But from there it was the night of the Raptors, led by some of Green’s old teammates who were determined to prove that they still had some feeling of that championship at hand.