NBA

Philadelphia 76ers Need Much More from Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid in Game 6 vs. Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors try to close out the Philadelphia Sixers in Game 6 of their best-of-seven playoff series on Thursday night.

Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 PM ET

Wells Fargo Center

Coverage: ESPN

Ben Simmons Looks Lost Again

Ben Simmons struggled when the Raptors destroyed his 76ers 125-89 in Tuesday's Game 5, which has their season on the brink.

Kawhi Leonard stepped up for the Raptors, scoring 21 points to go along with 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals but Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid didn't make an impact for the 76ers, who trailed by 21 points at halftime and never recovered.

Ben Simmons had just seven points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, making three of the five shots he attempted but he turned the ball over five times. Simmons has more shots (34) than points (33) over the last four games and his struggles in this series mirror his poor effort in last year's Eastern Conference semifinals against the Celtics.

Simmons averaged just 14.4 points per game in that series and he's been even less productive in this series, averaging just 9.4 points per game.

The Raptors used a balanced offense to get the win. Pascal Siakam led the way with 25 points and eight rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists and Danny Green added 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc.

Jimmy Butler had 22 points for the 76ers but he was just 6-for-16 from the field and Tobias Harris added 15 points and six rebounds on 6 of 12 shooting but JJ Redick had just three points on 1-for-6 from the field and 1-for-3 from beyond the arc in 31 minutes and James Ennis III had one point, missing the four shots he attempted (three from 3-point range) in 23 minutes off the bench to finish with a -30 plus/minus.

Simmons (five turnovers in Game 5) and Embiid (eight turnovers in Game 5) had to play like All-Stars and they just didn't show up. Having 13 turnovers combined is unacceptable.

NBA Trends:

The Under is:

6-0-1 in Toronto's last seven road games

6-0-1 in Toronto's last seven road games against a team with a winning home record

7-2-1 in Toronto's last 10 games following a straight up win

8-1 in Philadelphia's last nine home games against a team with a winning road record

6-1 in Philadelphia's last seven overall

6-1 in Philadelphia's last seven games against Eastern Conference opponents

5-1 in the last six meetings

Ben Simmons has played poorly, particularly in the last two games and Joel Embiid never seems to be healthy when it matters. I can see this being a low-scoring game, the Raptors can control the pace and they lead all playoff teams in defensive efficiency.

Team rankings based on pace in the playoffs:

Raptors – 12th (98.0 possessions per game)

Sixers – 5th (103.0 possessions per game)

Team rankings based on offensive efficiency in the playoffs:

Raptors – 6th (108.0 points scored per 100 possessions)

Sixers – 9th (106.5 points scored per 100 possessions)

Team rankings based on defensive efficiency in the playoffs:

Raptors – 1st (96.1 points allowed per 100 possessions)

Sixers – 6th (104.8 points allowed per 100 possessions)

NBA Pick: Under 212.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff

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