Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, 4/29/19 NBA Predictions & Odds

Brett Brown: Ben Simmons May Guard Kawhi Leonard More In Game 2

Brett Brown said Jimmy Butler was the "adult in the gym" as he heaped praise on the Philadelphia 76ers star's performance against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. "And we're going to have to try to come out to win Game 2". Toronto has now played under the posted total in six of its last seven. Coach Nick Nurse had an idea what he was getting in Gasol - you know players when you see them around the league - but you don't really know a player until you have him.

It's possible that Jeremy Lin or Patrick McCaw may come off the bench in Game 3 over Meeks. They may need some help from the Drake curse, but if Philadelphia can score like they did against Brooklyn for the remainder of the series, then that might just be enough regardless of what they do defensively.

It was Philadelphia's first win in Toronto since November 2012, snapping a 14-game losing streak. After a game in which Leonard had not been able to draw many fouls despite aggressive Magic defence, Nurse had noted that Orlando's strategy against Toronto's best scoring option had been to play him "very, very, very, very, very physical". Even as Leonard was hounded by Ben Simmons and double-teams in Game 2, he managed to record 35 points, seven rebounds and six assists on 54.1 percent shooting.

Since winning the 2014 NBA Finals MVP award, Leonard has proven to be among the best postseason performers of all time. Philly knew they were going to give up points to Leonard who averaged 26 points-per-game in the regular season, which ranked sixth in the entire National Basketball Association. The result of those ailments has been 44.6 percent shooting in the playoffs and one DNP. The Philadelphia 76ers have won nine of their last 11 home games. Embiied had four points at the half, none with Gasol on the floor.

Added Brown: "We had a taste of some success with [Embiid] on Giannis [Antetokounmpo] in our Milwaukee series [in the regular season]". He did play Philadelphia twice when he was still with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The big storyline earlier in the day had been the status of 76ers all-star centre Joel Embiid, who had missed morning shoot-around with a stomach illness.

It was a satisfying ending to a hard day for Embiid.

Jimmy Butler led the way for Philly with a team-high 30 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in the win.

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Toronto doesn't only have an answer for Embiid. Simmons has been efficient from the field, though he hasn't gotten a ton of clean looks.

Because points are scored either from the field or at the line and offensive rebounds are the primary means to get a mulligan on a missed shot, the results were disastrous for Toronto.

For Nurse that is the job first and foremost for anyone coming off his bench, but a little offence to offset the double-digit donations James Ennis is giving Philadelphia would be nice and VanVleet knows it.

It felt like this series might go a similar way after Game 1, but Butler scored seven straight points from the 2:55 mark to the 1:42 mark of the fourth quarter on Monday, almost matching his point total for all of Game 1.

Leonard will be Leonard.

"It was a great night for him to just kind of put his head down and be the guy", Philadelphia guard JJ Redick said.

Look for Toronto to retake control of the series Thursday night.

Lowry made a pair of three-pointers late to salvage what had been a poor shooting night and finished with 20 points.

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