The Toronto Raptors fought off elimination on Saturday and now head to Philadelphia with the hopes of forcing a Game 6. Here's what to what for. Full episode looking at Game 4 and previewing Game 5 is on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
IMMAN ADAN: I think if you get enough momentum to shift, and it's a closer game in game 5, all the pressure is on the Sixers, and I'm really interested to see what the Sixers look like in that scenario. They could very easily crush the Raptors in that scenario. And you can see Joel Embiid putting on an MVP-type performance. You can see James Harden putting on an MVP-type performance, they could. But we've also seen this team performs the best when they're on top. And when they get punched a little bit, they're just-- they get-- it's super chippy. They start looking for calls. They start complaining. They start whining. And I just wonder what that Sixers game is going to look like if the Raptors can really pressure them in game 5.
YASMIN DUALE: Yeah, and if the Raptors come out swinging in a game 5, make things dicey. The prospect of a game 6 in Toronto becomes much more kind of anxiety-inducing for the 76ers. So I think they should take it one game at a time. And, you know, all the Raptors got to do just win one, and then extend it, and then, you know, that's just I feel like after, you know, to them is just to win a single game. For the Sixers is to close out the series, which I feel like it's tough to do. Winning game 4 is never easy. A sweep is not an easy feat no matter how bad the team is. Winning four in a row like after, you know, knowing that we've never won one against the Pistons before.
You know, it doesn't matter how good or bad the team is these are NBA teams. So winning four in a row is difficult. So the Raptors punched back. We'll see how they look going into game 5. But with, you know, Scottie present, with Gary healthy. We saw that they had a chance in game 1 until Scottie went out.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah.
YASMIN DUALE: You know it was a close-- it was I think they were like less than 10 points difference.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah.
YASMIN DUALE: Like the third quarter.
IMMAN ADAN: The Sixers didn't really go run away with it until the second half.
YASMIN DUALE: Yeah, until Scottie went out. So he was on pace for like a triple double. He was out.
IMMAN ADAN: He was fouled a triple double.
YASMIN DUALE: Exactly. Gary hasn't looked right. So, you know, I feel like the Raptors might go into game 5 feeling reinvigorated.
IMMAN ADAN: You have any-- what are you looking to see in game 5? We'll close off with that. What are you looking to see in game 5? And then and hopefully, hopefully we're back again to talk about a game 6.
YASMIN DUALE: I'm looking to see Siakam do exactly what he did in this game, which is to come out strong. I think when he comes out strong, when he comes out looking like the best version of himself , taking those mid-range looks, looking effortless, probing, being aggressive and decisive, which Nick Nurse mentioned after the game that he was far more aggressive this time. It just gives the team I feel like a confidence, a sense that they have a chance. And it also just pressures the Sixers more.
So he came out hot in the first quarter, cooled off, but it didn't matter because I feel like it just changed the dynamic of the game. And they're not going to give him things easy. They've walled him off from the paint excellently, the Sixers, their defense. Tobias Harris has been great. Even their weaker defenders and Niang have really walled off really well, are moving laterally really well.
Anticipating the spins, anticipating everything. Siakam has answered great I think. He had a tough game 3, but this series I think that relying on his mid-range, relying on his playmaking kicking out, has been great, has been solid the series. So I want to see him maintain that. He could have gotten for 40 this game. He cooled off missed some long 2's in the fourth quarter.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah.
YASMIN DUALE: Could have-- I was anticipating 40 points because I think he was at like 34 with minutes to go. So I think that if he comes out strong, if the Raptors keep the pressure high, get the Sixers into foul trouble, play aggressively, initiate contact. Don't look for calls, look to be rewarded. We've got to initiate contact on the offensive end, like stop complaining about these defensive fouls. Play aggressively on the other end, force the referees into tough situations. I feel like that's one thing I really miss about Lowry is that he would always know-- The Raptors need that kind of game management player. Hopefully Scottie can become that, I think I see it in him.
But that game management player really puts pressure on the referees to force calls. OK you're going to call that defensive foul? Are you going to call it when I do the same thing on this end?
IMMAN ADAN: Right.
YASMIN DUALE: Lowry was so excellent. The next play, he would do the exact same thing a player did to them just to test the whistle. And that's just excellent game management. The Raptors don't really have that--
IMMAN ADAN: I think that refs have been put on notice in the series. Even when you see a call that's like so egregious on one end, you'll see a make-up call right away. And I don't know that we got that in games 1 and 2. I don't know that we was instantly got that got that make-up call. Game 2 was incredibly egregious, I mean, to have one guy shoot 12 free throws. We're not going to keep going in the first quarter and then the entire team do it for the entire game. And it feels as though there's a little bit of an emphasis on refereeing and people are watching it. And referees are a little bit more on their toes in the series.
YASMIN DUALE: Yeah, I know what you mean. And I don't mind when a player is rewarded with calls. So he initiates contact, you see the replay, it's obvious he was touched. When it's like these ticky-tac fouls where he threw himself and you think he was touched from the back. But you're not even at an angle where you can call that whistle. And you know like these kind of things are just kind of what annoyed me. I don't care about Joel getting 15 calls or whatever. It's just that if these calls are all because he is throwing his arms up and falling as like a 300 pound seven footer, that's where the issue arises.
IMMAN ADAN: He falls so much.
YASMIN DUALE: He really does. And like he's so huge that at the very top in the media area, you could hear him fall onto the hardwood.
IMMAN ADAN: You can hear it on the broadcast. And it's just like this has to be hurting you, what are you doing. It's not worth the two points. It's not.
YASMIN DUALE: And then he's like, I don't feel so well. I'm sick.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah, duh.
YASMIN DUALE: He said he was feeling sick the first two games. And I'm like dude, it's cause your body is fighting for its life.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah.
YASMIN DUALE: But yeah, I'm going to be keeping an eye on the whistle. The last two games I feel like were called much more fairly. I feel like every call the Raptors have been getting has been just them attacking whoever has the most fouls, whoever has like four or five fouls. Which I think they've been doing a great job at the last couple of games. Get people who are giving you issues into foul trouble.
IMMAN ADAN: Get carded.
YASMIN DUALE: Getting Niang into-- Please get Niang into foul trouble.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah because he has just been lights out from deep.
YASMIN DUALE: He is a sniper.
IMMAN ADAN: You better get his six fouls right away.
YASMIN DUALE: Hand in the face and it's still a swish like Mike. He's going to get paid. I don't know what his contract situation is like, but he is he's a phenomenal guy. Tobias has been phenomenal. Tobias was in foul trouble this game. These are players that you want to get their role players who are spacing the floor into foul trouble. I think that's been skewing Doc Rivers rotations, which is what you want to do. And that's what they've been doing so well to the Raptors in the first couple of games.
So yeah, that's I feel like the adjustment that we can anticipate coming up.
IMMAN ADAN: Yeah, mine is just win the game. That's my key to the game.
YASMIN DUALE: Key to the game, win.
IMMAN ADAN: Win. Score more points.
YASMIN DUALE: Play well.
IMMAN ADAN: Have fun.
YASMIN DUALE: Score more points than the opposition.
IMMAN ADAN: Yes basically.