The Sixers and Trail Blazers each won Game Six of their respective series on Thursday, pushing a pair of conference semifinals to a seventh and deciding game.
Both of those Game Sevens are scheduled to take place on Sunday, with the Sixers and Raptors set to tip off at 7:00 pm ET, while the Nuggets and Blazers will either play before or after, depending on whether a third Game Seven is required for Golden State and Houston.
For the 76ers and Raptors, there’s a ton at stake in Sunday’s Game 7. Each team made two huge trades this season, with Toronto acquiring Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marc Gasol, while Philadelphia landed Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. Those franchise-altering deals were made with an NBA Finals appearance in mind, so neither club would be happy with a second-round exit.
It has been hard to know what to expect from the Raptors and Sixers from game to game, as players like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Kyle Lowry, and Gasol have looked great in one outing, then all but disappeared in the next. The fact that Game 7 will take place in Toronto should offer the Raptors an advantage. Through six games, the Raps have a +14.7 net rating at home, compared to their -8.7 mark on the road.
Home court advantage could also be crucial over in the West, as the Nuggets posted an NBA-best 34-7 record during the regular season in the Mile High City. The club hasn’t been invincible in Denver during the postseason, losing a home game in each of the first two rounds. But the difference between the Nuggets’ net rating at home (+9.2) and on the road (-3.2) vs. Portland is stark.
Although the Sixers and Blazers will go on the road as underdogs, it would be dangerous to write them off. Both teams have superstars who are capable of taking over games and single-handedly turning a potential loss into a win.
What do you think? Will the Raptors and Nuggets protect their home courts and advance to the final four? Or will will see stars like Embiid and Damian Lillard come up big and push their teams through to the conference finals?
Vote below in our poll, then head to the comment section to share your two cents!
Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.