Title: Know Your Enemy: Sixers-Raptors With Toronto’s Blake Murphy
Date: April 12, 2022
Original Source: Rights to Ricky Sanchez
Synopsis: I joined my pals at RTRS to help preview the Raptors-76ers first-round playoff series.
I’m not ruling out the possibility of there still being some new tiebreaker rule that hasn’t been announced yet — hey, I’ve tied a fantasy basketball week on Sunday and then come back to find I actually won it on Tuesday, because some steal or block or something got discounted at the last second — but it certainly appears for now at least like our Philadelphia 76ers will be playing the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, starting this Saturday. In terms of potentially apocalyptic first-round matchups for the 76ers, it ranks up there with the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, and maybe slightly above an Atlanta Hawks team featuring a starting lineup of five Kevin Huerters. For those of us lucky enough to have survived the Quadruple-Doink in 2019, it might be just enough to finish the job.
Or not. The Sixers technically enter the series as the higher seed and odds-on betting favorite — even if the Raptors’ fanbase seems to be entering the series strutting like [hyper-specific Billions-y reference to an ’80s wrestler I don’t actually know anything about] while the Process Trusters are just looking for a nice quiet corner to lay low in until the whole thing blows over. To get a more precise reading of the current temperature in the 905 and break down some of the matchup specifics as Nick Nurse might see them from behind those unnecessary glasses, I called up my old friend Blake Murphy — currently of Sportsnet 590 The FAN, formerly of Raptors Republic and The Athletic, among other T-dot publications. Here’s our conversation about Joel Embiid plus-minuses, Tyrese Maxey trades that weren’t, Precious Achiuwa pull-up transition threes and so much more, condensed for length and clarity.