Butler and a reborn Simmons give the Sixers an extra life

The Philadelphia players will play the ticket to the conference finals in Toronto. Embiid improved and Leonard and Siakam were very lonely.


The Raptors-Sixers is being an authentic roller coaster. As soon as a historical review hits the first ones at home, like two days later the second ones seem the most solid team and force the seventh. That's what happened last night, when saw the no more spectacular, but more reliable version of the Sixers. As if it were a diesel, they took a steady pace from the minute one that little by little was making a dent in a rival perhaps took the game with more relaxation of the desired.

The best news for the locals was the reappearance of Ben Simmons. No party has been lost, but except in the great victory of the third game, their participation was going unnoticed. This time it was a top-level offensive weapon with 21 points, 8 rebounds (several of them in attack) and 6 assists. He certainly favored the defensive intensity of his team, from which they could play a lot in transition. And in that aspect of the game Simmons is devastating.

The young base (less and less base in these playoffs) confirmed that the main reason for his scarce offensive influence is due to the effort he is making in defense in the pairing with Kawhi Leonard. There is no doubt that in that sense he has played the worst part, having to stop a man who fights with his performances for being the best player of this postseason. Last night he returned to sign numerazos (29 + 12 + 5). It is their eighth meeting followed with more than 20 points, matching the franchise record in qualifying that was held by Vince Carter (2001) . It is also his fourth game of 20 + 10, something that nobody had done in the history of the Raptors.

But this time he only found himself with the help of a fireproof Paskal Siakam (21 + 6), to which only the physical problems they have slowed so far this season. The rest of the team was weaker this time, starting with the two Spaniards: Marc (7 + 3 + 4) and Ibaka (9 + 3). This time they failed to prevail in the area, something Joel Embiid took advantage of. The Cameroonian did not make the best game of the year, but the second best of the series. 17 points and 12 rebounds for him, he was more comfortable than most days.

Of the spaces that Embiid finds, a large part of the Sixers' options will depend on Jimmy Butler, the undisputed leader of the tie. The escort is playing at its highest level, whether or not his companions accompany him. This time it was yes and they won, and he claimed once again as the player that not everyone is sure to see in him: a star. 25 + 6 + 8, again prowling the triple-double, again being the top scorer. Playing at maximum intensity on both sides of the court. Everything that could be expected from Butler when he arrived in Philadelphia is giving in this series.

In the early hours of Sunday to Monday, at 01:00 in the morning, it will be the last battle of a tie that is distributing good and bad minutes for everyone. The Raptors will fight against the ghosts of their past and the Sixers against those of their future. A tremendous match that can define the future of the two franchises and a few very fat names along the way.



Photos from as.com

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