Our event of the day is game 2 of the NBA playoff series between the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers. The teams will battle it out at the Scotiabank Arena where they met two days ago, as the Raptors ran out comfortable winners to take a 1-0 lead in the series. They will look to utilise home advantage once more in tonight’s affair before travelling to Philadelphia for a two-game road stint. These two franchises have appeared in the conference finals just once since the turn of the millennium and this series presents a chance for one of them to celebrate a significant moment in their history. In the past two seasons, the Raptors have been eliminated in the Conference Semifinals by a scoreline of 4 games to 0 and they will be desperate to at least go one better this time round. What could prove to be the difference this term is one Kawhi Leonard, who took over in game 1 notching 45 points in just 38 minutes on the court.
Not only will coach Nick Nurse utilise Leonard’s immense natural talent but he will also hope to call upon Leonard’s prior experience of winning an NBA title with San Antonio, on which occasion he also picked up the finals MVP award. The former Spurs man has won more championship’s than the entire Toronto franchise and he could prove the difference this time round as he goes in search of his second ring. Hoping to stop him will be Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers who have already proven their playoff credentials by overcoming the Brooklyn Nets 4-1 in the first round. Though they failed to slow down Leonard and the Raptors in game 1, Philadelphia have one of the league’s best interior defenders in their ranks in Joel Embiid who grabbed 12.4 rebounds per game in the regular season – only Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons recorded more. Philadelphia haven’t contested an NBA Finals series since the 2000/01 season but will see this year as a great opportunity to amend that record as they go in search of their first championship since 1983. Tonight should see a thrilling game of basketball.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NHL where the Dallas Stars take on the St. Louis Blues in their second round playoff series at the American Airlines Center. After the Blues took game 1 on their home ice, Dallas bounced back to secure the win in game 2 meaning the series is tied and it is all still to play for in tonight’s clash. Elsewhere, the Indian Premier League continues today as the Sunrisers Hyderabad welcome the Kings XI Punjab to the Rajiv Ghandi International Stadium. There is also plenty of MLB action to keep an eye on today as the Atlanta Braves take on the San Diego Padres whilst the Houston Astros travel to Minnesota to take on the Twins. The Crucible in Sheffield will continue to play host to the World Snooker Championships today as day 10 will see the exciting clash between John Higgins and Stuart Bingham draw to a close. Finally, in the tennis, the BMW Open commences today in Munich where Ernests Gulbis will take to the court against Slovakian Martin Kližan.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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