Preview: 76ers close out 2021-22 road schedule in Toronto tonight against the Raptors
After an ugly loss to the Pistons, the 76ers have put together three straight wins behind MVP-caliber play from Joel Embiid. Tonight Philly takes on their toughest opponent of their remaining schedule in the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors have surged as of late into a 46-33 record that has boosted them out of the play-in tournament. Toronto is currently the fifth seed in the East, with the Bulls a game and a half back from them. The Raptors are currently suited to match up with the 76ers in the playoffs set to start in just about a week.
The 76ers are on a three-game win streak that gives them a 49-30 record as the season winds down. The Sixers are currently the fourth seed in the East, but have the opportunity to climb the standings with three games to go.
Philly is a tiebreaker away from taking the third seed, and just a half game behind the Celtics for the second spot. After tonight’s game the Sixers will close out the season with a home back-to-back against the Pacers and Pistons over the weekend.
- OG Anunoby (Questionable)
- Yuta Watanabe (Out)
- Matisse Thybulle (Out)
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Sixers Three-Point Shooting
Two of the last three wins for the 76ers have come on the backs of an unlikely play-style, in three point shooting. The Sixers are 20th in three-pointers made a game with 11.6 made per game. With an offense focused on an MVP-caliber center shooting triples was never going to be a focal point, but it has been a saving grace during this win-streak.
In the 144-114 win over the Hornets the 76ers hit 21 triples tying a season high. That season high would then be crushed two games later as Philly hit 23 threes on the way to a win against the Pacers in Indiana.
Maxey had a career-high eight triples in that win that helped boost him into top three of three-point shooters this season. Tobias Harris continues to mesh better in the Harden-style offense in a catch and shoot role, he had five triples in that win as well.
Look for the 76ers to continue this three-point shooting barrage against the Raptors. It won’t be a crazy number in the 20s again like the games mentioned, but a higher number than that 11.6 average on the season.
Much like the Cavs before the injuries derailed their season, the Raptors are one of those young teams with a ton of strong players that come off the bench to put together runs.
A good shooter like Chris Boucher and the man who was taken before Tyrese Maxey, Precious Achiuwa headline a strong bench rotation for Toronto. Those two combined for 29 points in their last game against the Hawks that resulted in another win.
The 76ers have had some serious struggles to find consistent scoring off the bench. From DeAndre Jordan being a complete liability outside a couple of alley-oop dunks to Furkan Korkmaz”s shooting completely disappearing for months on end it has been brutal at points for the Sixers at the end of the rotation. Against the Raptors, the bench will need to step up to hold whatever lead the starters can garner.
|Philadelphia 76ers||-1.5 (-110)||-130||O 220.5 (-110)|
|Toronto Raptors||+1.5 (-110)||+105||U 220.5 (-110)|
This game could go either way, but I am going to lean on the veteran team to make a push up the standings here. The 76ers and more specifically Joel Embiid have looked too good in their last three games to drop this one.
The Raptors have been able to put together some big wins, but many of them have come against weakened opponents due to injuries. Losing Thybulle hurts, but defense isn’t going to be the defining factor for Philly in this one anyways.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline.