Round Two: Sixers-Raptors Preview, Odds, Prediction
The Philadelphia 76ers look to bounce back tonight against the Toronto Raptors in Tampa, Florida. On Sunday night, the Sixers fell to the Raptors 110-103 and struggled offensively. They shot just 38.8 percent from the floor, including 29.7 percent (11 for 37) from three point range.
The Sixers turned the ball over 10 times last game and had open shots all over the floor. This game wasn’t as bad as it looked. Embiid handled the pressure in the paint well and the Sixers were able to move the ball around and find the open shot. Unfortunately, those shots didn’t fall. Seth Curry was 2 for 7 from three point range and Tobias Harris finished the night 1 for 9 from beyond the arc.
Joel Embiid had a bad game and still finished with 25 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots. Embiid only shot 6 for 20 from the floor. Embiid, after knocking down dribble jumpers and fadeaways all season long, was unable to convert them against a Raptors defense that collapsed on him every chance they got. Point being, there’s no reason for concern with Embiid, who will certainly bounce back from a slow night on Sunday.
Ben Simmons remained aggressive on Sunday night and yet again, it paid off for him. Simmons finished with 28 points on 9 for 11 shooting with nine rebounds, five assists, and only one turnover. The Sixers just need to get their big three on the same page for a game and they will be one of the toughest teams to beat in the NBA.
I would fully expect a better shooting effort tonight against a Raptors. Embiid, Harris, and Curry have proven that they can all perform better than what we saw Sunday night and Simmons is playing the best basketball of his career. The Sixers do need more help from their bench, which struggled yet again. Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, Dwight Howard and Furkan Korkmaz combined for 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting in 69 minutes of action on Sunday, which is never a winning recipe for the Sixers.
We got burned last game on an off-night shooting for the Sixers. The team could not buy a bucket on Sunday night and I fully expect them to bounce back tonight because the Sixers lost last game, the Raptors didn’t win it.
Sixers -2 (-112)
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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports