Following an incredible shot from Joel Embiid to finish game 3, the Philadelphia 76ers found themselves in a prime position to end their first-round series. The All-Star center said it himself. He wanted to send the Toronto Raptors home in four games.
Despite how bleak things looked for the Raptors heading into game 4, they refused to roll over. Thanks to a 34-point outburst from Pascal Siakam, Toronto managed to avoid a sweep and extend the series to a fifth game.
Hip-hop artist and Raptors superfan Drake did not forget Embiid’s comments and decided to have some fun of his own. After Toronto’s win in game 4, he took to Instagram for some revenge on Philly’s superstar big man.
Being the competitive guy that he is, Embiid will likely not take this sitting down. He is going to do everything in his power to make sure that it’s he who has the last laugh.
Sixers Find Silver Lining
There is no denying the Sixers wanted to complete the sweep and move on to round two. Extra rest and preparation at this time of the year can be greatly beneficial. Especially for the Sixers as they begin to navigate Embiid’s recent thumb injury.
While things didn’t go their way in game 4, the Sixers are not hanging their heads. Instead, one player managed to find a good silver lining. James Harden spoke after the loss and said he feels it can be good for the team moving forward.
“I told the guys after the game that this is probably good for us. We thought things were sweet and thought things were coastal and just easy. We had opportunities, we didn’t convert like last game, and they did. With that being said, it’s 3-1,” according to USA Today.
Many expected this series to be a long drag-out fight, but the first two games did not play out that way. Given how handily they took care of business at home, facing some adversity could be good for the Sixers. Having to overcome some adversity is a good challenge for a group with championship aspirations.
Keeping Their Foot On The Gas
Even with dropping game 4, the Sixers are still in a great position. Up 3-1 in the series, they will be back on their home floor to potentially close things out. Above all else, they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas.
While it’s clear the Raptors are outmatched in many key areas, they are not a team to be taken lightly. Multiple members of their title-winning core are still on the roster, and Nick Nurse is one of the top coaches in the league. If the Sixers let up even a little bit, Toronto is going to take advantage.
Stopping any sort of momentum the Raptors have built should be one of the Sixers’ main priorities. Given how strong the atmosphere is in a packed Wells Fargo Center, they cannot let the opportunity of ending the series in front of their home fans go to waste.
With Embiid leading the charge, it’s doubtful the Sixers aren’t locked in for game 5. Even with an injury throwing a wrinkle in things, he will not be denied in his quest for a championship.