In their fourth away contest of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers (3-2) go to Toronto to face the 1-4 Raptors. As a team, the Sixers have averaged only 87.8 points per game so far this season, good for worst in the NBA. But on the bright side, the 76ers scored 106 in their last game in a solid win over the Boston Celtics, and have only been letting up 89.4 points per game, the third best mark in the NBA. The Sixers are currently the seventh best rebounding team in the League, averaging 44.6 a game. The Sixers’ Jason Richardson and Kwame Brown are inactive for tonight’s game.
Toronto on the other hand will not only be missing two of their best players in Philly native Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields, but have been allowing 100.0 points per game and are second-to-last in team rebounding. Lowry’s absence is huge for Philadelphia, as the Villanova graduate has averaged 18.2 points per game in his career against Philly while shooting 63% from the field. The 76ers won’t have the most difficult task against this shallow Raptors lineup, but here are some important keys to tonight’s matchup:
Push the tempo. With their most athletic player out and replaced by Jose Calderon, and big-men Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas manning the Raptors’ frontcourt, this athletic Sixers squad should be able to run all over their opponents. On the other side, you have an extremely athletic team in the 76ers, with bigs that run the court extremely well, specifically Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. The Sixers should definitely keep the tempo hot this game.
Jrue Holiday. When they Sixers aren’t pushing the ball, they’re half court offense should go through Jrue as much as possible. In Jrue’s first year as the team’s primary ball handler, he has not let down. So far this season Holiday has averaged 18.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game. As long as he gets his touches, and makes decent use of them either scoring or passing, they Sixers offense should flow with relative ease.
Sound defense. If, defensively, the 76ers are intense and play to their ability from the first minute, they will win this game. The Sixers are a much better team, and they can’t give the Raptors easy looks and keep them in the game. True, Toronto is a bad team, but they’re professional basketball players that can most definitely hit an open shot. Get the Raptors deep into their shot clock and worsen their shot selection.
Game time is at 7pm, see you there folks!
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