Plagued once again by a devastating spell of turnovers, the Sixers lost in Toronto 113-102.
In the second quarter alone, the Sixers turned the ball over 11 times, a display of ineptitude seldom forgiven by championship-caliber teams. The turnover tally at the end of the game was 21, with 7, 5 and 4 attributed to Ben Simmons, TJ McConnell and Joel Embiid, respectively.
Speaking of Joel, the Sixers as an organization need to find him a game or two off, for everyone’s sake. He’s playing heavy minutes every game- which is wonderful- but the coaching staff ought to see the short and longterm benefits in keeping him fresh and healthy for as long as possible. The big man finished tonight a putrid 5-17 from the floor, and a game-low -23. The only reason the Sixers remained in the game until midway through the 4th was Jimmy Butler, who finished with 38 points and 10 rebounds on 15-27 from the floor.
For the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard was deadly, as he tallied 36 points on 24 shots. The Raptors actually missed an inordinate number of open 3’s, shooting 27% from beyond from the game, which was a key factor in the Sixers hanging around as long as they did. Jonas Valanciunas went out of his mind off the bench, scoring 26 points (which feels low, it felt like he had at least 50), and ending a game-high +14 for the Raps.
The Sixers will now regroup and get ready for a home-and-home with the Detroit Pistons starting Friday, once again on ESPN.