Toronto Raptors (home) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (away)
Current records: Raptors (6-1); 76ers (4-3)
After winning six straight games to start the 2018-19 season, the Raptors recorded their first loss on Monday, falling to the Bucks in Milwaukee by a final score of 124-109.
MORE: Takeaways from the Raptors' first loss
Toronto was without Kawhi Leonard against the Bucks, as the two-time All-Star missed his second game of the young season due to rest. Assuming he plays on Tuesday, his presence will make a major difference as the Raptors take on one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference while both sides are on the second night of a back-to-back.
Expect Leonard to spend time guarding Ben Simmons, the reigning Rookie of the Year who is flirting with a triple-double on a nightly basis with averages of 14.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.2 steals through six games. A 6-foot-10 point forward who lives in transition, Simmons has developed into a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.
Slowing Joel Embiid down will also be a point of emphasis for the Raptors. The big man has recorded a double-double in six of Philadelphia's seven games and he's scored 30-plus on four occasions. With the amount of offence Embiid generates with his back to the basket, this could be one of the games Nick Nurse leans more on Jonas Valanciunas at the centre position to give Toronto more size down low.
That's not to say there won't be a place for Serge Ibaka against the 76ers. Ibaka is coming off of a strong showing against the Bucks, scoring a team-high 30 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field. If he can draw Embiid out of the paint with his outside shooting, it will make the lives of Kyle Lowry and Leonard much easier on offence.
If the Raptors can put it all together, they'll keep their undefeated record at home alive before they embark on a four-game road trip.
Last time they played…
Jan. 15, 2018
76ers 117, Raptors 111
PHI: Joel Embiid - 34 points, 11 rebounds, three assists
TOR: DeMar DeRozan - 24 points, five assists, two steals
Where to watch
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Radio: SN 590
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON