Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Records: Raptors (16-15), 76ers (20-11)
Where to Watch
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SN One / SNE / SNO (Canada), NBC Sports Philadelphia or League Pass (USA)
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Three things to watch
1. Joel Embiid bouncing back
Embiid didn't play to his usual standard in Sunday's matchup between the Raptors and 76ers.
While he finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds, he shot only 6-for-20 (30 percent) from the field. It's the lowest field goal percentage he's posted in a game this season.
The Raptors were aggressive all game long at throwing different looks at Embiid and applying pressure, but it was Aron Baynes who drew the primary assignment of matching up with the three-time All-Star. Baynes used his size well to disrupt Embiid, particularly in the second half when the Raptors took control of the game.
According to the NBA's tracking data, Embiid scored 14 points on only 3-for-13 shooting from the field when defended by Baynes.
With how dominant Embiid has been this season, establishing himself as one of the front-runners in the MVP race with averages of 30.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game on 53.6 percent shooting from the field, all eyes will be on that matchup again on Tuesday.
2. Chris Boucher making a difference
In Toronto's first meeting with Philadelphia this season, Boucher played a season-low four minutes, almost certainly because of matchup reasons.
On Sunday, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse gave him more of an opportunity and he made the most of it.
In 25 minutes of play, Boucher scored 17 points off the bench on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 from 3-point range. All five of his 3s came in the second half.
Boucher also made an impact defensively, blocking a game-high three shots, one of which came against Embiid underneath the basket.
Stepping up in a big way.@chrisboucher: 17 Pts | 5 3pm | 3 Blk pic.twitter.com/ipaQ2Lfc8C- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 22, 2021
The Raptors outscored the 76ers by 32 points with Boucher on the court, tying him with Terence Davis for best plus-minus in the game.
On the season, the Raptors are now +116 in the 723 minutes Boucher has been on the court and -30 in the 765 minutes he's been on the bench.
3. The free throw battle
Where the 76ers made their presence felt the most on Sunday was at the free throw line.
In going 26-for-35 from the free throw line, the 76ers scored more than a quarter of their points from the charity stripe. Embiid and Ben Simmons were responsible for most of those, combining to go 22-for-28, which was more makes and attempts than the Raptors had as a team (16-for-18).
While Embiid was struggling to score efficiently from the field, he was still drawing fouls at a high rate. As was Simmons, who was relentless attacking the basket in his return from a two-game absence.
Simmons ended up being Philadelphia's leading scorer in the game with 28 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field and 10-for-14 from the free throw line. It was only the fourth time this season that Simmons has attempted double-digit free throws in a game.
From coast to coast. pic.twitter.com/Ik5ggLM0DE- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 22, 2021
The 76ers have been living at the free throw line all season long. According to NBA.com, they're averaging 27.2 free throw attempts per game, putting them at the top of the league.
Keeping the 76ers off the line will almost certainly be a point of emphasis from the Raptors.
Kyle Lowry (left thumb sprain) - Questionable
Jalen Harris (G League assignment) - Out
Seth Curry (left ankle soreness) - Probable
Paul Reed (G League assignment) - Out
Rayjon Tucker (G League assignment) - Out
Raptors vs. 76ers: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors +1.5 (-110), 76ers -1.5 (-110)
Raptors Money line: +105
76ers Money line: -125
Over/under: 223.0 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
Last Time They Played
Date: Feb. 21, 2021
Score: Raptors 110, 76ers 103
Raptors: Fred VanVleet - 23 PTS (7-15 FG), 9 AST, 5 REB, 1 STL
76ers: Ben Simmons - 28 PTS (9-11 FG), 9 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.