After splitting a pair of road games in Toronto, the Sixers headed back to the familiar confines of Philadelphia for a pivotal game three against Toronto. As expected, Philly stars were abound, and the Wells Fargo Center was simply electric as they welcomed the surging Sixers back to the City of Brotherly Love. In front of the likes of stars Allen Iverson, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, DeSean Jackson, and Meek Mill- just to name a few- the Sixers continued their run of dominance at home this season.
After finishing with the third-best home record in the regular season at 31-10, Game 3 was more of the same at WFC. In spite of their star-studded starting lineup of scorers, it was Philly’s defense that stood tall last night. For the second consecutive game in this series, the Sixers held the Raptors below 100 points, a rarity in today’s NBA. Their defensive rotations were fantastic throughout the night as they suffocated Toronto shooters all night- holding them to sub-30% 3FG for the second time in a row.
“…we have taken great pride in our defense is the thing, as I said five minutes ago, that interests me the most [and] that I think connects the dots, HC Brett Brown stated in his post game interview, “Because normally teams that I have coached that you want or you wished did better let their offense sort of dictate their mood. And then if we felt pretty good, you’ve got a chance of playing some good defense. There’s an inverted attitude that I love—like we’re trying to guard. We’re really trying to play defense.”
While the defense was inarguably tremendous last night, the Sixers flashed their offensive prowess in Game 3 as well. Lead by an impressive 33 point effort from the oft-dominant Joel Embiid, the Sixers were absolutely remarkable offensively, shooting 51% from the floor(!). Philly flashed a little bit of everything on the offensive end, including this insane windmill dunk to take the wind out of Toronto’s sails:
The windmill dunk, and all its glory, were apart of a 27-14 run to ice the game in the fourth quarter. Now, with a wealth of momentum at their disposal, the Sixers seem primed for a deep playoff run. If Game 3 was any indication, Brett Brown may have figured out a way to exploit the Raptors weakness, which ultimately may be the difference in this series. One thing’s for sure, though, the Sixers will be ready for an intense battle in Game 4. Hopefully, yielding similar results as last night. Here. They. Come.