Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Records: Raptors (15-15), 76ers (20-10)
Where to Watch
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN 3 / TSN 4 (Canada), NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
While Anthony Edwards' dunk on Yuta Watanabe was the highlight of Friday's contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Raptors did, in fact, win the game.
Toronto is now riding a three-game win streak to tie its best stretch of the season, including a pair of wins over the Eastern Conference powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks. Norman Powell is coming off of a season-high 31 points in the win over the T'Wolves, adding to what has been an impressive stretch since becoming a full-time starter.
The Raptors experimented with a small-ball starting five of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Powell, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby in the first game against the Bucks, and the returns were promising. When Lowry was ruled out of the team's second meeting against Milwaukee, the thought was that Raptors head coach Nick Nurse would go back to the regular starting lineup, but he instead stuck with small-ball by inserting DeAndre' Bembry into the starting five.
With both Anunoby and Lowry out against Minnesota, Montreal native Chris Boucher earned his first career start, going away from small-ball with two vital pieces to the strategy's success unavailable.
It begs the question: Will Nurse try playing small against MVP candidate Joel Embiid?
Embiid has been an unstoppable force all season, averaging a career-high 30.5 points to go with 11.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. When he took the floor on Friday in Philly's win over the Chicago Bulls, the All-Star centre went off for a career-best 50 points to go along with 17 boards, five assists, four blocks and two steals.
No one can deny what @JoelEmbiid is doing this season.- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 20, 2021
50 PTS / 17 REB / 5 AST
📹 presented by @IBX pic.twitter.com/Ad3uPOrb4N
The Raptors may not have an answer to his dominance on their roster, but very few teams in the league do. How Nurse decides to approach the first of these two meetings against the 76ers is worth keeping an eye on as he works on developing a game plan to try and slow down arguably the best player in the NBA this season.
Kyle Lowry (thumb) - Doubtful
Jalen Harris (G League Bubble) - Out
Ben Simmons (illness) - Probable
Shake Milton (ankle) - Probable
Paul Reed (G League Bubble) - Out
Rayjon Tucker (G League Bubble) - Out
Raptors vs. 76ers: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors +3.0 (-110), 76ers -3.0 (-110)
Raptors Moneyline: +130
76ers Moneyline: -150
Over/under: 223.5 (-110)
* Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
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