Did the 76ers find a recipe for success in the playoffs? Despite the team's 125-121 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, there are reasons for optimism heading into the playoffs.
The Raptors have been a team the 76ers have struggled against historically, and the last three years have been no different. Over the last three seasons, Philadelphia has gone a meager 3-9 against Toronto. This season, Toronto's defense has given Philadelphia fits, holding them to just 105.5 points per game (100.3 points per game before Wednesday's game in the bubble).
Philadelphia, in Wednesday's loss to Toronto, finally found the recipe for success against the Raptors: play a physical, bruising style of basketball and overwhelm Toronto's small lineup. There were moments in Wednesday's action, albeit briefly, when the 76ers Simmons-less starting lineup showed they could dominate and bully Toronto. The 76ers built up an 18-8 lead heading into the team's first substitution, made with 6:22 remaining in the first quarter. The 76ers played harassing, physical defense to keep Toronto from getting into an early rhythm, something the bubble-version of the Sixers have been unable to do.