5 incredible facts prove how dominant Kawhi Leonard is for Raptors


Center Joel Embiid said firing Brown would be a "bulls--" move. "If there's someone to blame, put it all on me". Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris are all talented.

That comes to the crux of the argument: is Brown part of the solution or part of the problem in regards to advancing further in the playoffs?

Brown appears in limbo, and the should-he-stay-should-he-go decision will be the most crucial one yet for first-year general manager Elton Brand. They said what they said because they believe Brown doesn't deserve the boot, and I'm in the same boat. "I've had a lot of those times in my career and it feels similar".

Should Philadelphia fire Brown? "He's been there through everything", Embiid said.

Brown, though, has taken heat for a lot of the team's failures late in close games.

The Raptors lost 88-87 to Philadelphia in the 2001 conference semifinals when a Vince Carter jump shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Embiid has all summer to dry his tears and soothe his upset tummy. If the Raptors are going to have any shot at knocking off Milwuakee to make their first-ever NBA Finals, it will have to be the non-Kawhi members of the team who step up and make themselves known.

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Kawhi will need better offensive production from his fellow starters and more relief from the bench players next round, but as long as they continue to defend like they have for much of the playoffs and have one of the best players on the planet, they'll have a chance to do something special. He missed a playoff game against Brooklyn with a bad left knee and had multiple digestive issues that made his starting status unknown for other games.

While the Raptor's offence will have to improve in the next round against the Milwaukee Bucks, the team's staunch defence in Sunday's Game 7 win saw the Raptors collect 10 steals and force two crucial shot clock violations down the stretch. The Sixers would be wise to give it to him.

After bouncing off the rim four times, it went in.

"I'm not anxious about that right now", Butler said. It's a subjective measure, obviously, but over the whole of this season, as Leonard was load-managed and Kyle Lowry was injured and Marc Gasol was acquired, it always felt like the team needed to get to the conference finals for some measure of validation.

Harris, a trade deadline pickup from the Clippers, can also command a max deal from the Sixers.

Defenses sagged on Simmons daring him to shoot because the speedy All-Star can't do much outside the paint. They had two opportunities to take a three-point lead on mid-range jumpers from Iverson and Eric Snow but the Raptors corralled the rebound and took a timeout to set up a game-winning play.