Feud could overshadow Iverson-Carter matchup
Instead, the focus could be on Oakley and Hill, who have been feuding all season. Hill, Philadelphia's starting power forward, reportedly owes Oakley money from a card game last summer.
Oakley was suspended for one game without pay and fined $10,000 last month for confronting Hill and hitting him in the head with a basketball following a morning shootaround in Toronto before the Sixers played the Raptors on April 3.
Before a preseason game, Oakley slapped Hill, and neither was allowed to play.
"I'm here to play basketball," Oakley said after the Raptors practiced at the First Union Center on Saturday. "The only thing on my mind is playing basketball. You guys are making a big deal out of this."
Hill was not available for comment after practice Saturday.
"I'm bothered by the whole issue," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "I like Charles. I've had unbelievable respect for him as a player. And I love Tyrone.
"The reason they've been so successful in this league is because of the type of people they are. They come to play every night, they try hard, and I don't want to see anything take away from that. I'm hopeful that issue, whatever the problem is, will be handled in the summer."
Brown's biggest concern heading into the series is the way Toronto handled the Sixers during the regular season. The Raptors won three of four games, including a 15-point victory at the Air Canada Centre last month despite Oakley's suspension.
"Toronto has gotten so much more athletic," Brown said. "If we take bad shots and don't take care of the ball, we're going to have a hard time in this series. It's a tough matchup in a lot of ways."
Iverson, who did not practice Saturday because of bursitis in his right elbow, isn't worried about Toronto's success against the Sixers.
"We match up well with everybody," he said. "We can beat any team in this league. We're not getting caught up in how well they did against us."
The teams played just once after the 76ers acquired Dikembe Mutombo at the trading deadline.
"I think it helps us," Oakley said. "He's a great shot-blocker and a great rebounder, but you can't hide from him. You have to go right at him. He's big, but there are things you can do to get around him."
Philadelphia is well-rested after eliminating the Pacers on Wednesday. The Raptors haven't been home since Thursday and are coming off an emotional Game 5 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
"We need to come ready to play and match their intensity," said Carter, who was criticized by Oakley for trying to deflect attention away from himself and onto the team as a whole during the series against New York.
The Sixers, who have the home-court edge throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, are determined not to relinquish it like they did in the first round in a Game 1 loss to Indiana.
"We definitely want to get off to a good start this time," guard Aaron McKie said. "It wasn't a good feeling when we lost Game 1 and had to fight our way back to gain our home-court advantage."