Raptors are rapidly becoming the Sixers’ ultimate bogey team


The Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night by a score of 107-95, snapping their four-game win streak. The loss also extended their regular season losing streak in the Scotiabank Arena to a whopping 15 games. Nothing but bad vibes for Philly in Canada recently.

Game Recap

The Sixers started the game off scorching hot. They put up 35 points in the first quarter and saw their first-half lead rise all the way to 15 at one point. Tobias Harris was in rhythm from three, Furkan Korkmaz provided some solid minutes off the bench, and Ben Simmons was productive at the free-throw line (7/9).

The momentum in the game slowly began drifting back into the Raptors’ favor when Josh Richardson left midway through the first quarter with a left hamstring strain. JRich had previously dealt with a right hamstring issue earlier this season.

From the second quarter on the Sixers were pretty much a disaster offensively. They were outscored in each of the final three quarters and put up just 15 points in the second period of play.

The game concluded with some overall pretty spectacular theatrics in Toronto’s favor. Guards Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell stepped up, combining for an absurd 40 points on 50% shooting from the field. The duo repeatedly knocked down tough shot after tough shot in the final few minutes, sending the Sixers home with a loss.

Injury Bug Hitting Hard

Moving forward, the Sixers will now most likely be down two of their starters. Listed as a left hamstring strain initially, that should be enough to sideline Richardson for at least a couple games, maybe even a few weeks. With the Lakers, Celtics, and Heat looming ahead, this could prompt the front office to make a move sooner rather than later.

Increasing Trade Value?

Despite not playing at all for most of the season, former G-League standout Shake Milton saw 23 minutes of action tonight. While this could be attributed to Richardson going down unexpectedly, some have theorized it was more of a game to showcase his abilities. Milton knocked down 3 threes while shooting 3/10 from the floor. His 4 personal fouls showed an obvious lack of game experience on the defensive side of things.

Raul Neto, another player who’s been heavily rumored in trade talks, also saw a hefty chunk of minutes at 12. Per usual, he dribbled the ball a lot and passed it around. A whole lot of nothing from the Brazilian guard.

Defensive Lapses

Entering into the matchup, the Sixers’ main focus defensively was going to be slowing down the Raptor’s leading scorer: Pascal Siakim. They executed that strategy to perfection. Siakiam shot 34.7% from the field while hoisting up a whole ton of bricks from beyond the arc (⅛ from three). Philly did a great job of forcing him into bad jump-shots through the rotation of multiple defenders.

Despite this, the Sixers really failed in slowing down some of the other players on Toronto. Although VanVleet is having a good year in terms of scoring, he’s shooting just 40.3% from the field and is a career 9.9ppg scorer. This should have been light work for the Sixers strong defensive roster.

Philadelphia’s life gets no easier moving forward. They host LeBron James and the #1 seed Los Angeles Lakers this Saturday. A game that will no doubt seriously test a very depleted Philly roster.

Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports