Sixers @ Raptors: Preview, game info, and more

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It appears that the Sixers (1-3)were finally “ready to win” – as coach Doc Rivers put it – by nabbing their first win of the season at home against the Indiana Pacers by a score of 120-106. The team will look to keep this momentum going as they hit the road for the next four games, starting tonight against the Toronto Raptors (2-2).

Sixers vs. Raptors Game Info

When: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Tipoff: 7:30 pm EST

Where: Toronto, Canada | Scotiabank Arena

How to watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Toronto Raptors

The 2-2 Raptors have gotten off to a solid start, especially considering their injury issues, their strong opponents, and three of their first four games being on the road. On Monday, the Raptors edged out 98-90 over the Miami Heat in a battle where PF Pascal Siakam proved he was worthy of last season’s All-NBA honors.

In their first four games, Siakam has averaged 26.5 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. The 6’8 28-year-old remains a strong defender at both the rim and the perimeter, and the sharpness of his offensive prowess rivals that even of his left elbow (is that too soon?).

Moreover, Precious Achiuwa is making a name for himself with a 22-point, 10-rebound career game against the Heat. And, of course, sharpshooter guard Fred VanVleet remains a force to be reckoned with, still shooting over 40% from deep.  

But it hasn’t been all blue skies and rainbows in the northern city. Toronto prodigy OG Anunoby – who has annoyingly put up as many as 20 points a game against the Sixers in the last two seasons – has been struggling. The SF has averaged just 11.8 points and 38.5 FG% in his first four contests despite playing nearly 37 minutes a night.

Add that to the reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes missing time with a nagging ankle sprain and veteran Otto Porter Jr. yet to see the floor this season as a Raptor with a left hamstring strain. While the team is tough as ever – especially on defense – there’s still quite a bit of room for them to improve.

The Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers have been in almost the exact opposite situation- a struggling start despite a healthy team, but finally starting to pull the pieces together. G James Harden put up a solid 29 points and 11 assists on Monday night while leading man C Joel Embiid put up 26 points (8-13 FG) and three(!!) blocked shots.

Meanwhile, the team’s bench FINALLY brought meaningful contribution with a whopping 36 points, led by Georges Niang, putting up 13 in 21 minutes.

While it took several games for the Sixers to get off the ground, it seems they are finding their feet. For his part, Tobias Harris is finally settling into the role we paid him $180 million to do – catch and shoot the ball while giving smaller guys a hard time.

Key offseason acquisition De’Anthony Melton is also seeming to find his role after an underwhelming start, delivering 11 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal on Monday night. Though Melton is listed as questionable with right adductor tightness, at the time of this reporting, he was an active participant in the team’s shootaround.

The Raptors have always been a team that’s quick on their feet, despite their big size – all but five of their players are between 6’6”-6’9”, including 7’1 rookie center and PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year Christian Koloko. That gives them a serious edge at protecting the rim, meaning the Sixers will need to step up their shooting and passing games to compete. 

Injury Report:

Sixers: De’Anthony Melton (questionable, right adductor tightness)

Raptors: Scottie Barnes (questionable, right ankle sprain). Otto Porter Jr. (doubtful, left hamstring strain)