The 2022 NBA playoffs kicked off Saturday with the fourth-seeded 76th seed facing the fifth-seeded Toronto Raptors. The Sixers made a statement to start the playoffs, and dominated the Raptors, 131-111, to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Therese Maxi took control of the game in the third quarter, eventually dropping 38 points in a true 81.9 percent shot. Despite only scoring 19 points, Joel Embiid was a monster on the glass, scoring 13 rebounds. James Harden sent 14 assists and added 22 points for a good metric, Tobias Harris was 26 of his side. Here are some of the points obtained from Game 1.
- The big talking point of the series was how adept at Toronto’s offensive rebounding was, something the Sixers struggled with all year. Philly used their height advantage to turn that around in the first quarter, grabbing six offensive boards in the first quarter. Joel Embiid did an excellent job of solidifying this, pulling three himself. Their ability to keep their possessions alive was a huge reason they were able to get off to a hot start.
- Tyrese Maxey was the other reason for the Sixers’ good start. He flew around the ground on both ends of the ground from the jump, and had 10 points in the first quarter in his first playoff. The Raptors managed to keep the match close by taking a lot of powerful shots early on.
- Great job in the non-embedded minutes by Philly, as he is back in a 10-point match again. Paul Reed experienced a moment or two of shaking, but he settled down gently. James Harden and Tobias Harris did a good job offensively during this stretch, with Harden finally seeing the step back start to drop again. Harris led Philly in scoring in the half, putting 16 points on 7 of 11 rebounds.
- Just an excellent first-half attack for the Sixers. The ball movement was excellent right from the start, as they hit the ball around the perimeter, racking up 19 three-pointers in the inning. Incredibly, they had 15 assists and had no spins in the half.
- Embiid was excellent at finishing the first half, taking advantage of the fact that no one on Toronto’s roster could physically hold onto him. He hit the line nine times in the inning, putting both Fred Vanfleet and Chris Boucher in major foul trouble. Both will spoil in the fourth quarter.
the other half
- The third quarter started in a way all too familiar to Sixers fans. After pushing their lead to 24, it was scaled back to 11 in just two minutes, then there’s Teresa’s Maxi. Maxi had a 21 out of 38 in the third quarter. It was the second-highest quarter-scoring in a Sixer game in the playoffs, according to Sixers stats. This bouncing pass from Harden put Maxi and the crowd back on her.
- Maxi was the best possible version of himself this quarter, driving his killer car to the basket and from behind the bow. It’s been said a million times this season, but the leap he’s made as a player and hit this year is amazing. There is still a very big moment for Tyrese Maxey.
- Just a wire win for the Sixers, who didn’t allow the Raptors another chance to get back into the game in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t have asked for a better start to the postseason. They could extend the period leading the series to 2-0 on Monday night.
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