Not only will the Philadelphia 76ers be playing for their season when they take on the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of a second-round Eastern Conference playoff series Sunday, Brett Brown will be coaching for his job.
Serge Ibaka added 17 points, and Pascal Siakam had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto. Joel Embiid is the lynchpin for everything in Philly - he is +80 through six games in a series where his team has been outscored by 17 points overall.
Despite all five starters scoring in double-figures, nobody on Philadelphia particularly stood out in this must-win contest.
The see-saw series had some wild momentum shifts, with a couple of blowouts on both sides. While he wasn't nearly as efficient in Game 7, Leonard is shooting almost 54 percent from the floor and over 40 percent from 3. Both players had multiple baskets for the team in a hot third quarter.
Beyond the uncertain fates of Butler, Harris and the sharpshooting JJ Redick, rumblings in league coaching circles have grown louder by the day that 76ers Coach Brett Brown needs an National Basketball Association finals berth to keep his job. He also scored 13 in Game 3 and 11 in Game 4.
In an effort to prepare his team for a momentous seventh game, Brown asked Amir Johnson, a former Raptor, and JJ Reddick to speak to the younger Philadelphia players on Saturday about their experiences going deep into playoff series. Greg Monroe, who filled the Sixers' final roster spot, was a -9 in under two minutes.
After a heated defensive battle between big men through seven games, Gasol and Embiid shared a touching moment afterward. Jimmy Butler scored 25 points to help lead Philadelphia to the victory and Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points in the loss for Toronto.
While Leonard loves to downplay personal accomplishments and remains focused on team-oriented goals, Game 7 is going to be about Leonard and if he can deliver another stunning performance. He connected. The arena exploded. He led the blowout Game 6 win. He was traded to Toronto in the offseason along with Green from San Antonio.
Kawhi Leonard bounced, bounced, bounced, bounced the Philadelphia 76ers out of the playoffs. He's been there through everything, and then this year I think he grew even more as a coach. "I think he's gonna be here for a long time".
Sixers coach Brett Brown said his staff of 14 had spent the previous night dining at swish Yorkville restaurant Sotto Sotto.
To Brown's players, it seems the notion of his job security being a concern is ludicrous, and they're not shy about expressing that opinion.