The Raptors finished last amongst the rest of the Atlantic division, the only Atlantic team to miss the post-season, fighting at the end of the season to make the play-in tournament.
In the offseason, after firing Doc Rivers, Philly would pick up Toronto’s head coach Nick Nurse, after saying his relationship with their front office hit a crossroads and would need to decide on his future.
Toronto would go on to hire Darko Rajaković, last year’s interim head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s been reported that it was his impression of Scottie Barnes that influenced Toronto to make the decision. Since drafting Barnes with the 4th overall pick in 2021, they’ve been seriously invested in making sure he has everything he needs in order to reach his fullest potential.
It’s also been reported that coach Rajaković expects his team to play with more ball-movement and less isolation play. Meaning, as well as we know what Siakam and Barnes are capable of, we could see a number of different Raptors players get opportunities to showcase their abilities.
Could Nurse’s insight of Toronto give Philly an advantage?
Ever since 2019, almost every time the Sixers face the Raptors it’s been a dog fight. Philadelphia finished 3-1 against Toronto last season, Embiid would average around 28 points per game against them, mostly due to Toronto’s front court lineup just not being equipped to stop the big fella.
Although they may have a new coach, nobody should have more knowledge on these Raptors players than Nick Nurse does. Especially with the roster not having changed too much from past seasons, having Nurse draw up counters against his old personal could bode well for the Sixers.