The Toronto Raptors welcome visitors into the Scotiabank Arena and serve as another measuring stick for the Philadelphia 76ers. This month, the Sixers have already had to face two of the three big favorites in the Eastern Conference. They lost to the Boston Celtics on opening night and dropped their game last week in Milwaukee to the Bucks.
The Raptors (6-1) are a wee bit different this year versus last. Out goes Dwane Casey. In comes Nick Nurse — the team’s “offensive coordinator”, so to speak. Nurse’s offense last year led to the Raptors finishing seventh in PPG, second in ORtg, and 14th in pace. This year, the Raptors are ninth, sixth, and 17th in the same categories through seven games.
Toronto also has new toys to play with.
Kawhi Leonard was traded from the San Antonio Spurs (along with Danny Green) for DeMar DeRozan in mid-July after a story that was almost as weird as the Markelle Fultz story last year.
Leonard is still really good, by the way, in case you forgot. So far, the former SDSU Aztec (my alma mater) has averages of 26.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game shooting 50% from the field and 45% from three. Oh, yeah. Kyle Lowry is still on this team, and he’s averaging 18.3 ppg and 11.0 apg. Lowry is also shooting 42% from three. In fact, three Raptors (Leonard, Lowry, and Danny Green) all shoot over 40% from three.
The Sixers are playing their second game of a back-to-back after beating the Atlanta Hawks last night. Ben Simmons paced the team with 21/12/9. Joel Embiid had a season low 10 points, but Markelle Fultz had a career high of 16 — including this dunk complete with “primal scream”:
GET OUT OF FULTZ'S WAY pic.twitter.com/Mh60vcSqkR— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 30, 2018
(Markelle Fultz primal screams make my life at moment.)
Toronto comes off a loss to the still undefeated Milwaukee Bucks, but OG Anunoby (personal) and Kawhi Leonard (rest) weren’t playing. Serge Ibaka scored 30. Pascal Siakam had 22, and Kyle Lowry added nine points and 15 assists.
Eric Sidewater (@SixersScience) did a tremendous break down earlier today on how the Sixers should attack the Raptors. My favorite being “leave CJ Miles and Fred VanVleet wide open” — because it’s nice to see a player on someone else’s team be COMPLETELY IGNORED from the three point line and beyond.
It should be a fun night in the “T-Dot”. Let’s get that win for Meek Mill because that beef with Drake never truly went away.
- Philadelphia: Wilson Chandler (hamstring); Zhaire Smith (foot); Jerryd Bayless (knee)
- Time: 7:30pm EST
- Place: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA TV
- Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
- Twitter: @Liberty_Ballers