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NBA Playoff Schedule 2019: Thursday's Game Times, TV Info, Odds and More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 7: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball against Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference SemiFinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks became the first team to punch their ticket to the conference finals Wednesday night. By the time Thursday's NBA playoff action concludes, two more teams could join them.

The Toronto Raptors are up 3-2 on the Philadelphia 76ers following a commanding 125-89 win in Game 5. The Sixers host Toronto with their season on the line.

Likewise, the Portland Trail Blazers will hope home-court advantage can help them stay alive against the Denver Nuggets, who hold a 3-2 series lead.

        

Thursday Schedule

Toronto (-2) at Philadelphia; 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Denver at Portland (-4); 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Odds are courtesy of Vegas Insider

       

The health of Joel Embiid has been a dominant theme throughout the Sixers' matchup with the Raptors. First, the two-time All-Star was battling left knee tendinitis. Then he was suffering from a virus during Philadelphia's Game 5 loss.

Serena Winters @SerenaWinters

Joel Embiid is listed as probable (upper respiratory infection). He did not attend shootaround this morning (resting at hotel). #Sixers

Serena Winters @SerenaWinters

Joel Embiid: “I can’t control my physical condition but I can control how much I push myself. I’ve got to do more. I have to go back to Game 3 energy, gotta have fun.”

For the series, Embiid is averaging 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. His scoring and rebounding, in particular, are down from their regular-season equivalents. Embiid averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 boards, both of which were career highs, heading into the playoffs.

The supporting cast isn't necessarily stepping up to support Embiid, but there's ultimately only so much a team can do in the postseason when its best player is clearly playing below his best.

To a lesser extent, that's true of the Trail Blazers as well.

Damian Lillard sent the Oklahoma City Thunder packing with his Game 5 buzzer-beater. He averaged 33.0 points and shot 46.9 percent on three-pointers during that series. Against the Nuggets, Lillard is only shooting 24.1 percent from the perimeter while averaging 26.2 points. 

This isn't to say Lillard should shoulder the blame for Portland being down 3-2. But the team was already flawed before losing Jusuf Nurkic for the season. Nurkic's injury meant Lillard had to be superhuman in the postseason in order for the Blazers to make a deep run.

The four-time All-Star was exactly that in the first round and has fallen back to earth a bit, which has Portland on the brink of elimination.  

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