Sixers happy with rebounding, transition defense in win over Raptors

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PHILADELPHIA–Heading into this Round 1 series with the Toronto Raptors, the focus has always been rebounding and transition defense. The Raptors are a team that thrives off those two factors and those are two weaknesses for Philadelphia.

In Saturday’s Game 1 win over the Raptors, the Sixers outrebounded Toronto 39-36. The Sixers held the Raptors to just seven offensive rebounds and they outscored Toronto in transition 29-10. This was a big effort for Philadelphia as they were able to move forward and turn weaknesses into strengths.

“It was a focus for us in all the days of practice that we had,” said Tobias Harris who had six rebounds. “We knew that’s the type of team that they are, scrappy, tall team that has a lot of wings that can go get rebounds so we’ve been drilling it all day at practice and when we got out there today, that was our emphasis from early in the game that we had to match their physicality and even be more physical than them.”

Joel Embiid had 15 rebounds, 11 on the defensive glass, as he led the charge for Philadelphia in this one as they were able to make some things happen against an aggressive Raptors group.

“Box out and a point of emphasis for me other than being a great teammate and making plays for others is also to rebound the ball offensively and defensively,” said Embiid. “That’s an area in the past that they’ve always killed us whether it’s transition or offensive rebounding. I thought tonight, we did a pretty good job and I’m sure that they’re gonna come even harder in the next game so we gotta be prepared.”

The Raptors have been a team that is terrific at making adjustments in the past. Philadelphia will have to be ready to go when the time calls for it in Game 2 on Monday.

“I thought early on we were able to do that,” Harris added. “Get enough stops to get the rebound and get out. I thought in the first half, we did a great job of not turning the basketball over and that was a huge reason why we were able to get the looks that we wanted and just to really play and not give them opportunities to get points in transition on their end so that helped us out a lot.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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