The Sixers are set to tip off their first round Eastern Conference playoff series with a matchup against the 5th seeded Toronto Raptors. Philly has faced Toronto a couple times already this year, but things change over the course of the season, and certain players may rest against certain teams in the regular season. In case you’re unfamiliar, here are some of the difference makers for the Raptors that the Sixers will have to deal with in the first round:

  • Pascal Siakam, PF

    I think we all know Spicy P at this point, but in case you haven’t kept up with what he has done in the 2021-22 NBA Season, let’s recap. In just under 38 minutes per game, Siakam is leading the team with 22.8 ppg for this year. He also put up 8.5 boards and 5.3 assists in the regular season, clearly cementing himself as Toronto’s number 1 guy.

  • Fred VanVleet, PG

    If Siakam is not the guy, then it certainly falls next to VanVleet, who Sixers fans have had trouble with for years now. VanVleet is a floor stretching guard who’s shooting 37.7% from deep this season while averaging 20.3 Pts, 4.4 Reb, and 6.7 Ast. He was an All-Star this season, and represents a dangerous back court option.

  • OG Anunoby, SF

    Anunoby is still young, but at just 24, he has grown into a formidable option as a wing scorer and defender for the Raptors. He’s putting up 17.4 points per game, a career high, and is a big part of the genius defensive schemes that Nick Nurse trots out every night.

  • Scottie Barnes, PF/C

    Barnes will draw part of the unenviable task of guarding Joel Embiid in this series, and on the defensive end of the floor he will have his hands full. Offensively, though, Barnes is giving the Raptors over 15 points per game, which is more than serviceable. He can also board it up a bit on both ends of the floor.

  • Gary Trent JR, SG

    Trent is another young player for Toronto, but he’s had more of a breakout year after averaging 18.3 points in the regular season. He’s shooting nearly 40% from deep, which has helped add to those totals, and he’ll be sure to put pressure on the Sixers’ lack of perimeter defense in the series.

  • Chris Boucher, PF

    Boucher will be another part of the Embiid guarding tandem with Barnes, and though he will play the lesser role, he’s still certainly dangerous. He’s not normally an exceptional scorer, but against the Sixers he turns into LeBron James for stretches. Normally you wouldn’t be too concerned with a bench player, but Boucher deserves attention.

  • Precious Achiuwa, PF/C

    Achiuwa is the main defensive post option for Toronto off the bench, but he doesn’t bring much offensively. He will get time in this series with the main goal of spelling whoever is guarding Embiid. He can rim run a bit, but shouldn’t cause too much trouble on the other end of the floor.

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