For the second consecutive season, the Philadelphia 76ers will advance to the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

They defeated the Brooklyn Nets 122-100 in game 5 and will play the Toronto Raptors in the second round.

The Sixers jumped out early in game 5, scoring the games first 14 points and 23 of the first 25. It took the Nets until the 6:04 mark in the opening quarter to score their first points. By halftime the home team lead 60-31 and it felt all but over by that point.

It was a laugher from beginning to end, and it was exactly the type of game that showed these teams aren’t close in talent and potential.

The Nets gave the Sixers their best shot in game 4. The Nets made changes to their starting rotation and tried to get more physical with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

It worked for most of game 4, but the Sixers prevailed late and ended any hopes of the Nets stealing this series.

Turning up the Defense

One of the biggest concerns entering the playoffs was the Sixers horrendous defense late in the season.

The Sixers showed they could turn on the defense when it mattered the most.

Ben Simmons was the best defender in this series. He pestered D’Angelo Russell the entire series by fighting through pick-and-rolls and forcing Nets guards off the three-point line.

Joe Harris, who entered the postseason with the highest three-point percentage in the league, wasn’t a factor in the last four games of the series. He only hit one three in that four-game span.

The Sixers made his life miserable by driving him off the three-point line and forcing him to drive to the basket.

Caris LeVert was the only player for the Nets who played well offensively throughout the entire series.

If they can stay locked in defensively, this upcoming matchup with the Raptors will be worth the hype.

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