Despite a solid first quarter, the 76ers couldn’t overcome their own mistakes in a game the Raptors controlled after the 1st quarter, losing 108-98. Spencer Hawes’ impressive 28 point, 10 rebound performance was not enough to cover DeMar Derozan’s 33 point explosion.
Without Thad Young, who missed the game due to personal reasons, the defense looked completely out of sorts, surrendering 14 3’s to a Toronto team that is known for their poor outside shooting. Without Thad, and the recently released Kwame Brown and Darius Morris, the Sixers played without focus as evidenced in their 20 turnovers.
In our pregame preview, we pointed out that the 76ers have struggled with their perimeter defense, a weakness that Derozan and Rudy Gay were quick to exploit. Without Thad, the 76ers played big, with either Daniel Orton or Lavoy Allen teaming up with Hawes’ on the inside. This move backfired as the Sixers’ 50-41 rebounding advantage failed to overcome Toronto’s quickness.
While Hawes shook off a bruised knee to have one of his best games, Michael Carter-Williams made his return from a bruised arch. MCW was predictably rusty, shooting 2-10 from the field to go along with 6 turnovers. He did play 34 minutes, so at least the injury seems to be comfortably in his rear-view mirror.
In the last minute, the recently signed Elliot Williams and Lorenzo Brown made their 76er debuts. Brown, a 2nd round pick making his NBA debut, scored 5 points in the final minute, earning the fleeting distinction of the NBA’s highest scorer per 36 minutes. That won’t last but it was nice to see both players get on the floor quickly.
Coach Brett Brown reached a dubious milestone in his young head coaching career by earning his first technical of the season. If the team continues to play this sloppy, it won’t be his last.
Watch the game and have anymore thoughts? Hit us up in the comments section or yell at me on Twitter @rj_infantino.