The Philadelphia 76ers (17-16) look to take on the Toronto Raptors (14-16) Tuesday night in Toronto. After a much-needed big win over the Washington Wizards Sunday night, the Sixers need to secure more wins under their belt to start competing in the East.
Shake Milton: Out (COVID-19 protocols)
Andre Drummond: Out (COVID-19 protocols)
Danny Green: Out (COVID-19 protocols)
Ben Simmons: Out (Personal)
The Sixers are still missing a chunk of their core out on the court due to health and safety protocols. With Shake and Drummond nearing the end of their required quarantine, we should be seeing them suit up for a game within the next week.
The Sixers matchup Sunday night against the Wizards witnessed the return of Georges Niang, who was out for 4 games, having been placed on the COVID-19 protocols. Niang had a quiet game of 6 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist, but the Sixers were in desperate need of his forward presence after embarrassingly dropping the previous game to the depleted Hawks.
With much of the league out due to the recent spike of COVID-19, the NBA has changed their protocols, making it quicker for players to return. The NBA has announced that they have shortened the players’ quarantine period down from 10 days to six as long as players are asymptomatic and meet with the league’s testing standards.
The last time the Sixers met with the Raptors back in early November, the night ended in heartbreak. The Sixers led for most of the game, with Tyrese Maxey having one of his best performances of the season, but it was not enough for the Sixers to secure a win. The Raptors switched over to 2-3 zone where the Sixers could not keep up offensively.
The Sixers rallied late and the fourth with a 7-0 run, but completely collapsed after Andre Drummond lost a jump ball, resulting in Gary Trent Jr. and Fred Vanfleet’s stellar shooting to end the game, putting the Sixers in their place with a 115-109 win.
The Sixers are yet again facing a team that has a long list of players listed on the injury list and on COVID-19 protocols. With many of their big time players like Pascal Siakam, Fred Vanfleet and star rookie Scottie Barnes out tonight the Sixers need to capitalize over this undermanned team, which has been an issue this season.
The Sixers need to channel what won them the game over the weekend, and that was their defensive prowess. The Sixers possess two of the league’s best defenders to din Embiid and Thybulle, who led the way in pestering the Wizards. Embiid was aggressive and hungry for a win. If the Sixers can rally together and bring this energy early in the matchup against the Raptors, it will be nothing but smooth sailing.
The Sixers are 6.5 favorites in this game with tip-off starting at 7:30pm in Toronto.
Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire