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The Toronto Raptors’ closing run was appropriately shaky, concluding Wednesday with an overtime loss to the Heat. Because why should a team known for coming out of the postseason gate without much juice head into the playoffs any other way?nfl jerseys cheap china
The Raptors were 7-6 in their final 13 contests and haven’t defended at elite levels for over a month. Since March 1, they’re 12th in defensive rating.
A fantastic bench led by Fred VanVleet was a huge factor in the Raptors’ success this season, and they’ll have to continue to trust it when they face the Wizards in the first round. But as rotations shorten and starters log more minutes in the playoffs, Toronto’s reserves will be tested like never before.
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Sixteen straight wins to close the season.nfl jersey
The Philadelphia 76ers own the longest winning streak in NBA history for a team heading directly to the postseason and are led by Ben Simmons and a defense that quietly climbed to third in the league. Everyone understands the Sixers are more dangerous with Joel Embiid on the court (plus-11.6 net rating), but this late surge revealed Simmons is ready to operate as a solo star if need be.
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More than half of the Sixers’ season-ending run came without Joel Embiid (orbital fracture). And during the 16-game sprint, Simmons averaged 14.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 9.8 assists. It’ll be fascinating to see how postseason defenses try to exploit his lack of a jumper. Clearly, nobody figured out how to do that during the year.authentic nfl jerseys
Finally, shout out to Markelle Fultz, who ended a tumultuous (and brief) rookie season by becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double in league history at 19 years and 317 days.