Philadelphia 76ers: Grading possible outcomes of the 2018-19 season

Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Grade: D

This would mean the Sixers have lost in the second round in a non-competitive series. The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors are both on missions with much to prove to the basketball world. As of right now the Sixers are a combined 1-3 against those two squads.

The likely matchup is a battle with the Raptors. Nick Nurse’s team has three players with NBA Finals experience (Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Serge Ibaka) and two more with a lot of playoff minutes under their belts (Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol). The experience for the Raptors would make the difference. The Sixers have had struggles all season closing out games and playing cohesive basketball in the late minutes. In the playoffs when the play slows down, palms get sweaty, and environments are more hostile, the Sixers on the road show that they are ill-equipped to handle it.

Simmons and Embiid still need more maturing to handle these moments and Kawhi Leonard shows that it is he who holds the temporary title of “Best Player on the Floor.” Toronto’s depth with Fred Van Vleet and OG Anunoby provide a spark and allow their starters to take valuable rest minutes. Even Jeremy Lin and Normal Powell knock down key shots. The Sixers’ second unit struggles as shots are not falling and the Raptors are too quick for Boban Marjanovic to make a significant impact.

In the coaching aspect, Nick Nurse continues the brilliant job he has been doing all season and Brett Brown struggles to prepare his team for situational basketball and lacks attention to detail. The Sixers end up stealing a close contest in Game 3 or 4, but the Raptors walk away with a gentleman’s sweep. Once again, Butler and Harris reconsider their pending free agency and Elton Brand’s gambles begin to take their tolls.