The Toronto Raptors are off to a bad start to the season. They will look to get their first win of the season this Wednesday when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers on the road.
Catch this game live on Wednesday, December 30, at 8 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Philadelphia 76ers (2-1, 1-0 at home)
The Sixers were among the early victims of the surprisingly hot Cleveland Cavaliers, as they lost to the Cavs last Monday on the road, 118-94.
That’s the Sixers’ first loss of the season and second against the spread. Philly, however, did not have the services of Joel Embiid in the Cavs game, as the Cameroonian big man sat out with a back issue. Embiid remains questionable to play this Wednesday, so Dwight Howard and Tony Bradley might have to split the duties in the middle for the Sixers, who are just averaging 105.3 points per game this season.
Howard started against Cleveland and had nine points to go with three boards, while Bradley came off the bench and scored just four points and pulled down eight rebounds. The Sixers have to pick up their offense with or without Embiid, and that’s not going to come from Howard or Bradley.
Tobias Harris has to step up, as he’s shot just 40.5 percent from the field in the first three Sixers game, though he looked nice in the loss to Cleveland in which he went 5 of 10 from the floor with four 3-pointers for 16 points. All of the Sixers games so far this season have hit the under.
ROAD TEAM: Toronto Raptors (0-2, 0-1 on the road)
The Raptors are still winless through two games. After losing to the New Orleans Pelicans at home in the opener, 113-99, Toronto made a trip to Texas and got tripped up by the San Antonio Spurs in a 119-114 loss.
The Raptors are also yet to win against the spread this season. In fact, they are only 1-4 ATS over their last five games, going back to the Orlando bubble. The Raptors could just be waiting for them to get things together. They remain a talented and deep team.
In the loss to the Spurs, forward Chris Boucher led the team’s second unit with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and seven blocks. He’s a big reason why Toronto’s interior defense has looked good in the early goings of the season. The Raptors have allowed just 40.0 points in the paint in their first two games of the season.
Speaking of which, the Raptors can take advantage of Philly’s lousy defense in the shaded area, especially if Embiid will miss the game. The Cavs relentlessly attacked the Sixers’ Embiid-less defense inside and came away with 68 points in the paint.
The Raptors are due for a win. With a balanced attack from the starters, the Raptors take care of business in Philadelphia and score a 110-105 win.