The last time the Philadelphia 76ers faced the Toronto Raptors this season, they had won their last two games and were looking for a three-game winning streak. And, what do you know? As the Sixers prepare for their second game against Toronto this season, they are once again looking for a three-game winning streak.
The 76ers come into this game with what appears to be the same bill of health they had ten days ago when they last faced the Raptors although it is admittedly coming under different circumstances. After leaving the game early Sunday night, Nick Young has reportedly been checked out and will be available tonight. For the Raptors, it appears Kyle Lowry is still out with a bone bruise in his right foot. Perhaps he should talk to Andrew Bynum about loaning him some lube. In addition to the injury to Lowry, Alan Anderson, who had seven points on eight shot attempts and a +10 rating in the last game has been sidelined with a partially torn plantar fascia, an area of the body Phillies fans are all too familiar with. Missing you, Chooch. And finally in the injury department, Landry Fields remains out with an injured invisible.
To discuss players who will actually be stepping on the court tonight, the Raptors are coming off a 97-86 Sunday afternoon win against a hapless Orlando Magic team starting former Sixer Nikola Vucevic and giving him 33 minutes. Andrea Bargnani is playing for Toronto, which means he will have a good day, as he is wont to do against the Sixers. In the meeting ten days ago, Bargnani managed 23 points on 19 field goal attempts. Fortunately for the Sixers, Bargnani is not off to a great start to the season on a whole. While the season is still young and the sample size is still small, Bargnani's PER, TS%, and eFG% are all down from last season and in a pretty big way. Hope!
In place of Kyle Lowry, Jose Calderon has managed to impress, although it would be quite difficult to say he is an upgrade over the talented Villanova alum. The veteran point guard has stepped it up this year with a 57.5 TS% and a 55.4 eFG% and a PER of 17.52, all upgrades from last season.
In the last game against Toronto, Doug Collins gave Dorell Wright 27 minutes. In the past two games, Wright has only sixteen minutes of game time combined, including an inexplicable five minutes in the game against Utah. While Toronto's line-up is being shuffled somewhat due to injury at the SG/SF position from the last time around, it will be interesting to see if Doug Collins gives Wright similar minutes as last time around or if Wright has somehow become Doug's two of clubs.
In their last meeting, the Sixers, led by Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday, and Nick Young (each with 16 points) managed to defeat the Raptors by ten including by a second quarter where they outscored the Raptors 32-7 in the second quarter. Yes, that happened. And while it is unlikely that a 32-7 quarter will occur again, the fact of the matter is the Raptors are not a very good, especially without Lowry, and as "eh" as the Sixers might be without Andrew Bynum, the Raptors are a worse basketball team.
To The Bullet Points!
- Between Andrew Bynum's hair style choice and Nick Young's shoe color choice, I once again find myself on pins and needles eagerly anticipating the Sixers' fashion statements du jour.
- Over/Under on the number of times someone somewhere in relation to this game mentions the overall futility of Toronto sports post-1993 and the Toronto Blue Jays' current attempt to reclaim sporting glory for a city that has become a laughing stock in all five sports currently set at 3.5.
- What is everyone's prediction for this game? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!
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