In a heartbreaking end to the season, the Sixers lost a slugfest of a Game 7 of their 2nd round playoff series to the Raptors. Kawhi Leonard hit a buzzer beater that bounced on the rim four times before dropping in.
An ultimately close series ended in fitting fashion. Kawhi was the best player for all seven games, and he decided the final game. For the Sixers, it was another year of disappointing playoff performances from their core players. Joel Embiid largely struggled for the series, battling injuries and sickness in multiple games. Outside of his dominant Game 3 and the winning basket in Game 2, Toronto frustrated him. Simmons was kept to 10 points or less for 6 of the 7 games.
It was not a series without positives. Jimmy Butler, to his credit, largely showed up. He was their most consistent source of offense and raised him play in the final moments of Game 7. And the team as a whole responded when called upon, including role players like Mike Scott and James Ennis. They were embarrassed in Game 1, but fought to a last second win in Game 2. Later down 3-2 in the series, they dominated to force a seventh game.
The focus now shifts towards the offseason, and it is a crucial one for Philadelphia. Butler and Tobias Harris are free agents, and Brett Brown’s future as the coach is far from certain after a two straight 2nd round playoff exits.