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Sixers-Raptors: Game preview, schedule, start time

The Raptors previously handed the Sixers their worst loss of the season. Cool.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Way back on October 21st, the Sixers were 0-2 and looking to snag their first win of the year. They were without Joel Embiid and facing the 2-0 Raptors. Every single bar I tried to watch the Sixers game at (past the first one where I went outside to meet a friend and was not let back in because the bar was at capacity) was not showing the Sixers game.

It was a sports night of all sports nights. Bars had their options. Each one I passed had the TVs facing their windows full of the Penn State/Michigan game. If they weren’t showing that, it was Game 7 of the ALCS. It made sense. Big college football game for a team with tons of local alumni That goes on the TV. Game 7 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Astros? That’s option 2. The third game of the regular season against the Raptors? That doesn’t make the cut (the Sixers were will winless and the bandwagon didn’t really form yet so even asking if the game was on got me looks).

When I was finally able to find a bar with the game on, it was 62-49 the North. But hey, I thought, maybe they’ll come out with a head full a steam. No halftime lead is truly insurmountable. At the end of the third it was 102-71.

So what was the point of all of this? It was to say the Sixers were hot for a bit. So hot, in fact, that outside the Warriors I wasn’t sure there was a team in the NBA they couldn’t beat. They’re not hot now. They’re without Joel Embiid. The Raptors, on the other hand, are 21-8. They’ve won 10 of their last 11.

Do the Sixers have an honest, real chance to win this game? Of course they do. They’d have to find some way to cut down on all the turnovers, the shooters need to be hot, and Ben Simmons needs to play with the confident swagger that we love seeing from him. This team can win without Joel Embiid. They’ve done it...once. The Raptors are not an un-vanquish-able foe. However, if I had to guess how this was all gonna go, I’d lean on the side of “not great.”

But things do look up. If tonight’s game against the Raptors in Philly goes poorly, they can make it up with their next game against * checks schedule * the Toronto. Oh.

7:00 PM / Wells Fargo Center / NBC Sports Philadelphia / 97.5 the Fanatic

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