Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors odds, picks and predictions

While last night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors hinders what seeds the Sixers will end up at, there is still a chance that the Sixers could end up as high as the second seed and as low as the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. So let’s look at all the potential first-round matchups the Sixers could face.

2nd Seed:

Cleveland Cavilers (4-0 in Head to Head this season) 

Sixers escape Cleveland with a win over Cavs on Joel Embiid's birthday -  Liberty Ballers

While two games separate the 7-10 seeds in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavilers are in the 7th spot. The Sixers have had a ton of success vs. this young Cavilers team as they went undefeated vs. them in the regular season. Yet, it is not like the games wasn’t very competitive. In those four games, the Sixers won by double digits just once, and the Cavs led in some of those games for the majority of it. Yet, I like this matchup for the Sixers. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are both dealing with injuries, and this Cavs team has 0 playoff experience except for Kevin Love. I doubt it happens, but the Cavs would be an easy first-round matchup for the Sixers.

Charlotte Hornets  (3-1 in Head to Head this season) 

Sixers head to Charlotte to start mini-series vs. Hornets - Liberty Ballers

The Hornets are extremely exciting to watch but have one of the worst defenses in the NBA and zero paint presence. Embiid has averaged 33.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 4 games versus the Hornets, and in a potential 1st round matchup, I expect similar success making it a favorable matchup.

Atlanta Hawks (2-1 in Head to Head this season) 

NBA playoffs: Joel Embiid leads Sixers to Game 3 win over Hawks despite  Danny Green's injury | RSN

Oh crap, here we go again. The Hawks have again turned around things in the second half of the season, and while it is a long shot, this is a team I would not want to see. The Hawks have bested the Sixers before in the playoffs, but we have James Harden this time, and I think that will be the difference in this series. Last year there was no one to hit the big shot, and that is what James Harden was brought in to do. This series would be closer than Sixers fans, but I like them in 6 in this potential series. 

Brooklyn Nets (1-3 in Head to Head this season) 

How and where to watch Nets vs. Sixers Thursday 10 March | NBA - AS.com

No, no, no, please God, no. Would we have to pay them eventually if the Sixers make a deep run? Most likely, but the thought of facing KD and Kyrie in the 1st round scares the crap out of me and a lot of Sixers fans. We know it will come down to Kyrie and KD going nuclear in the clutch while we Sixers fans are sitting on our couches saying, “How did he hit that!”. I’m sorry, I can’t go through that much stress so early. See you in the Conference Finals, hopefully.

3rd Seed:

Chicago Bulls (4-0 in Head to Head this season) 

Sixers head to Chicago for rematch against Bulls - Liberty Ballers

Yes. Yes. Yes. The Chicago Bulls are the biggest frauds of the 21st century. They are a combined 0-19 vs. the top three teams in each conference. This includes the 0-4 vs. the Sixers. While I don’t think the Sixers would sweep the Bulls with their best perimeter defender in Lonzo Ball out for the season, they would have a tough time guarding our big three of Maxey, Harden, and we know Vuecivic can’t guard Embiid. So this would be the most realistic and best option to play in the first round.

4th Seed:

Toronto Raptors (1-3 in Head to Head this season) 

Sixers' Matisse Thybulle Ruled Out vs. Raptors on Thursday - Sports  Illustrated Philadelphia 76ers News, Analysis and More

As we saw last night, the Raptors might have the Sixer’s number. We don’t have the coaching advantage, and while I believe we have the two best players on the floor at all times, the Raptor’s defensive scheme and length are so effective. Plus, now we know the Sixer, who was unvaccinated as our best defender in Matisse Thybulle, would be unable to travel to Canada and play road games. For that reason alone, I would not want to play the Raptors; add their defensive versatility and head-to-head record vs. us over the years. The Raptors are not a team the Sixers would like to face in the first round.

 

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