Game Recap – Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers


Final Score – Toronto Raptors 119 @ Philadelphia 76ers 103

Back-to-back blowouts against the Philadelphia 76ers, as the Toronto Raptors beat the Sixers 119-103. It was a tale of two halves, as Philly hung tough in the first half before the Raptors went on an 11-0 run to start the third quarter to form a deficit Philly couldn’t climb back from.

A game like this exemplifies how important Nerlens Noel is for Philadelphia. While Jahlil Okafor, Hollis Thompson, and Isaiah Canaan did work on offense, the defense became a sieve against Toronto. The Raptors did their scoring by committee with six of their players hitting double-digit points. Even Luis Scola was able to turn back the clock, impressing by using his savvy skills to success down low against the Sixers’ athletic bigs, and even hit a three pointer in the third.

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Backtracking to Noel, it was a surprise to see Philadelphia regress in many of the fundamental aspects of the game which Nerlens excels in. Case and point: Philadelphia was out-rebounded 56-37 and gave up 7 steals while only picking up 2. Though it wasn’t for lack of effort, there were more limbs being flung than actual boxing out for rebounds and defenders moving their feet to prevent penetration. The Raptors got into the paint almost at will, and without Noel patrolling, they had a field day at the rim, only missing easy shots down low at the end of the game when the bench came on.

The Sixers player to keep an eye on is Nik Stauskas, as he had another tough game against the Raptors, shooting 2/7 on three pointers and 3/11 overall. As much as he tried to get into a rhythm by attacking the paint and putting up shots, nothing went in for him. When he tried to do drive-and-dishes, his passes were erratic and didn’t give clean looks to his teammates catching his passes. Brett Brown is giving Stauskas a lot of freedom to get himself going but I would argue more offensive structure is needed for the team to know which spots to attack.

Player of the Game

Jahlil gets the player of the game award for his duties against the Raptors. He had 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks offset with 4 turnovers and 5 fouls. Just like last game with Nerlens out, Jah was the focal point of the offense which was clear when Coach Brown ran multiple offensive sets for him throughout the game, and had a couple of clever inbounds plays to get the ball to Jah deep in the post.

Isaiah Canaan and Hollis Thompson also had big games tonight as they had 18 and 19 points, respectively. Isaiah became a concern for the Raptors in the close second quarter as his threes kept Toronto off-balance, while Hollis did his damage on a quieter scale, taking what the defense gave him as he went for an efficient 6/8 from the field and went for a team-high +8 in +/- during his 27 minutes of action.

Looking Ahead

The Sixers travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Friday in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. With Kevin Durant out for the next 7-10 due to his hamstring, let’s hope the Sixers devote additional resources to stopping Russell Westbrook.