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Sixers-Raptors Preview/Game Thread: Stumbling Towards the End

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The Sixers limp up to Toronto to take on another conference contender.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In a kind and just world, the NBA would just award the Sixers losses for the remaining games of the year after incurring the Wrath of Khan LeBron James. Unfortunately, we have a couple years of broken bones and torn ligaments to tell us that this is the darkest timeline. So there will be no mercy as the injured and fatigued Sixers travel up to Toronto to take on the Raptors.

Enough about doom and gloom, there are 3 things I’m looking forward to in this contest.

  1. Dario Saric is coming off back-to-back poor performances. It looks to be a combination of better competition, poor contributors and onset of fatigue. It won’t get easier this evening as Serge Ibaka will present a hard defender for Saric to Diaw (yes, it is now a verb) his way to production.
  2. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is getting a lot of playing time as the season winds down. As is, there is a lot to like with his game and a lot he needs to improve on. One thing I like is that he’s not afraid to put the ball on the floor and take it to the hoop. He’s sneaky good at using his length and the basket to wrap tough shots around defenders. On the other hand, he’d benefit more from drawing contact as his finesse moves don’t necessarily always end in a converted basket.
  3. The Other Guys. I’m a fan of Grant/Jakarr 2.0 aka Justin Anderson. He’s been athletic fun and if you squint hard enough you can see a role or rotational player. Recently signed Alex Poythress might get some burn as the Sixers need bodies to soak up minutes. The game will probably be ugly but I’m down to watch some underdogs get a chance in the big game.

Game Info:

  • Date: April 2 2017
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Place: Air Canada Centre
  • TV: CSN

The Bad Guys: Raptors HQ

Probable Starters

  • Philadelphia: T.J. McConnell, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Justin Anderson, Dario Saric, Richaun Holmes
  • Toronto: Corey Joseph, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valunciunas

Injury Report

Random thoughts

  • Is this the year that the Raptors break through? Yes, Kyle Lowry, arguably they’re best player, has been dealing with injuries. But he should be back by the playoffs. With the Cavs still not inspiring the same confidence as they have the past 2 years, will a conference contender finally unseat the King?
  • Dario Saric has played every basketball game this season, including your kid’s rec league. Part of me wants to rest him for the remainder of the year for 1. TANK and 2. fear of any more injuries in otherwise inconsequential contests. The ROY award is nice but I’m pretty checked out on that competition between Embiid, him, and Brogdon.
  • Will Nik Stauskas show out for his home country? That’s all I got.