The 76ers are back home after their first road trip of the season looking to break a three game losing streak. They face the Toronto Raptors, a team with a losing record (4-7) but legitimate post-season aspirations.
The losing streak coincided with the loss of surprise rookie Michael Carter-Williams who missed the last 4 games with a bruised arch. But after going through the entire shoot-around today, MCW says he’s feeling good enough to play (via The Delaware County Times). It wouldn’t be surprising if Brett Brown is cautious with his prized rookie, but the team would be thrilled to have him back. Tony Wroton played well in his absence, but moving Wroton into the starting line-up revealed just how little depth the 76ers have.
The Toronto Raptors present some interesting match-ups for the Sixers. Led by Rudy Gay and DeMar Derozan, the Raptors are extremely athletic on the wing, something the Sixers have struggled against this season. If the Sixer guards can contain those two by forcing long jump-shots, they have a good chance of coming up with the W.
PG, PF, and C all present solid match ups for the 76ers tonight. Keep an eye on Spencer Hawes. Jonas Valanciunas is a solid young player with a strong traditional post-game. Hawes has been able to take advantage of these kinds of match-ups all year by playing surprisingly great defense and sneaking out to the perimeter to create space and hit clutch 3’s.
Look for this to be a high-scoring, sloppy affair. Both teams are better in transition and if the 76ers don’t take care of the ball and create good possessions, they will be vulnerable to the Raptors counter-attack. This is truly a game of strength vs. weakness for both teams, so as long as you don’t mind turnovers, this will be a fun one to watch.
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