Title: Raptor Recalibration, Game 6: Reverting to bad habits, Embiid’s non-scoring dominance and more
Date: May 10, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column looked at a blowout Game 6 loss that saw the Raptors revert to a bunch of bad habits and put themselves in a Game 7 scenario they could have avoided.
What I texted Eric shortly before tip-off Thursday was not intended to be a Game 6 preview. A little frustrated with myself for a few things of late, I threw the following message my lovely colleague’s way:
“Have you ever thought of not making the same mistakes over and over again? Like, learning from them and not repeating them, or at least make some new ones? Me neither.”
Well, it sure turned out to be prescient. After seemingly solving a lot of the persistent issues that plagued them over the first four games of the series, the Raptors had turned in a very good Game 5. They optimized the centre rotations, attacked the weak spots in Philadelphia’s otherwise stout defence, shut down key plays and minimized their exposure to poor bench minutes. They shot a heck of a lot better, too, but 3-point variance alone didn’t explain the return to form.
Then here they were Thursday, in a 112-101 loss to the 76ers that will now force an anxious Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday, reverting to all the earlier issues. If their earlier problems had been buried, it was the night that the skeletons came to life. So a lot of this edition of the recalibration may found familiar.