UPDATE: Game 1 will tip at 7:30 p.m.
The 76ers will open their Eastern Conference semifinal series Saturday evening in Toronto. The time of the game is up in the air, as is the rest of the playoff schedule.
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It all has to do with television.
If a Game 7 is necessary in the Denver-San Antonio series, the Sixers will play Game 1 at 7:30, but if a Game 7 is not necessary, then they will play at 8 p.m.
The rest of the schedule:
This is only the second time the Sixers and Raptors will meet in the playoffs. The first came in 2001, when the Sixers beat Toronto in seven games in the semifinals.
The recent trends don’t bode well for the Sixers: They’ve lost 13 straight in Toronto since a 93-83 win there on Nov. 10, 2012.
But that can be misleading, since both teams have made changes since the trade deadline. This year, the Raptors beat the Sixers in three out of four games.
The main focus will be on the matchup between the Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard and the Sixers’ Ben Simmons.
Leonard is 13-0 lifetime against the Sixers, 10-0 with San Antonio and 3-0 this season with the Raptors. In the 13 games, he has averaged 17.8 points and been a defensive stopper.
This season, in the three games that Leonard played against the Sixers, he was the main defender on Simmons. In those three games, Simmons had 27 assists, but 24 turnovers.
Leonard missed Toronto’s 126-101 loss in Philadelphia on Dec. 22. In that game, Simmons had 26 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and just one turnover.
Both teams are coming off five-game, opening-round series. Each also lost the opening game before winning the next four, with the Sixers beating the Nets and Toronto defeating Orlando.
It is the first time in team history that the Raptors have won four consecutive playoff games.
“This is a tough Toronto team,” said forward Tobias Harris, who averaged 17.6 points in the Brooklyn series. “We have to come in ready to play as a collective unit and be focused on getting a win.”
In each of the last two years, the Raptors were swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinal round.
Before that, the Raptors lost in six games to James and the Cavs in the 2015-2016 Eastern Conference Finals.
After their first-round playoff win over the Nets, forward Jimmy Butler said the Sixers will travel to Toronto as a confident team.