Game Preview: Sixers look to snap two game skid against tough Toronto Raptors team



All 7 of the shorthanded seventy-sixers who played at least 24 minutes two nights ago should be content with what they did. Playing the reigning champs tight deep into a game without your 4 best players (and 5 out of your top 6) is admirable. Especially as reinforcements might be on their way as this homestand wraps up.


Injuries

Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle, Isaiah Joe, Grant Riller and Ben Simmons all remain out for Philadelphia. But Tobias Harris and Seth Curry have both been upgraded to questionable. My guess is that Seth returns after missing the last contest with his foot injury, while Tobias is a little farther out after Doc Rivers said he wasn't doing great. For Toronto's side, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch and Yuta Watanabe have been ruled out. Siakam is the most notable name here, averaging over 21 points per contest last season.


Players to Watch

Scottie Barnes - Raptors:

A huge reason Nick Nurse and his team has survived an All-Star absence is the 4th overall pick looking way ahead of schedule. He's been as advertised on defense and has surprisingly looked like a mid range maestro on offense, which combined with his freakish athleticism and playmaking vision has him in pretty good company, and the steps he's taken this early also has Toronto's 'reset' ahead of schedule.



Tyrese Maxey - Sixers:

Looking for reasons Philly kept it close versus Milwaukee, the second year starter has to be at the top of that list. Playing 39 minutes after matching that total the night before, he stepped up by scoring a game high 31 to fuel the offense. Continuing his uptick in efficiency and production with more talented teammates is the next step, but he has all the tools to do that and more. Philly got a good one.


Tip-off is 7:00 PM ET on NBA TV, and with a win the Sixers could take their first steps back toward the top of the East. Meanwhile, the Raptors look to climb out of the 9th seed and break their three game losing streak.

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