Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 1 vs. the Philadelphia 76ers

Before the 76ers arrive in Toronto, we spoke to Liberty Ballers to hear the Philly perspective on what’s sure to be a competitive second-round series. After a series chock-full of newfound confidence, the Raptors are finally advancing to the second round, playing the 76ers in the postseason for the first time since 2001. David Early of Liberty Ballers was kind enough to answer some questions for us before the series begins:
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Last series, Marc Gasol shut down Nikola Vucevic with impeccable positioning in the post and quick hands. How do you envision the matchup playing out between Gasol and superstar Joel Embiid?

I was pretty excited when the Sixers landed Tobias Harris. And I was almost comparably disappointed and a little scared when Toronto brought in Marc Gasol. Joel is just 6-for-18 in the 62 minutes they’ve battled head to head this year. He was just 4-for-12 in 38 minutes during the 2017-18 season. He’s been very effective. Gasol brings a similar skillset as Al Horford, who as you probably know, has been the biggest challenge for Embiid over his short career.
Forcing Joel out of his comfort zone (the paint and the free throw line) and into lots of …

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Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Raptors vs. Magic Game 1 Thread: Updates, TV info, and more

After 82 regular season games, we arrive at the moment of truth: it’s Game 1 of Raptors vs. Magic, the first contest in Toronto’s big time post-season run. Let’s watch. It’s time once again for a Toronto Raptors post-season run. Read that sentence again and get a handle on the mood. The Raptors in the playoffs is now no big deal, nothing to get too excited about. They’ve been here before and expected great things before. The “just happy to be here” energy is long gone. In fact, it’s been replaced by something else, a mood both powerful and distinct: we can win this thing.
And that’s because the Raptors are going into the 2019 playoffs with proven players, guys who have gone in as underdogs and come out on top, players who have jumped into the fire and come out unscathed, a team ready and able to play at the highest levels of the sport.
It’s why we at HQ were fine letting loose with all sorts of nostalgic, retrospective, energy and memory. We weren’t tempting fate, or dragging ourselves through a mental minefield for no reason, we were doing something else. We …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ