Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Records: Raptors (15-6), 76ers (16-7)
Where to Watch
Date: Dec. 8, 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN 3 (Canada), NBCSP or League Pass (USA)
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
For the second time in two weeks, the Raptors and 76ers face off against each other, this time in Philadelphia.
In the most recent matchup between the two teams, the Raptors outlasted the 76ers by a final score of 101-96. Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors with 25 points, while Fred VanVleet (24), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16), OG Anunoby (12), Terence Davis (11) and Norman Powell (10) each scored in double figures.
The 76ers got 25 points out of Josh Richardson and a near triple-double out of Ben Simmons, but it wasn't enough to overcome one of the worst games of Joel Embiid's NBA career. In 31 minutes, Embiid failed to score a single point, missing all 11 of his field goal attempts and all three of his free throw attempts.
Once again, Marc Gasol was at the forefront of Toronto's success against Embiid.
Embiid says he has changed his mindset since Gasol and the Raptors held him scoreless, telling reporters after Philadelphia's recent win over the Indiana Pacers that he's "being aggressive, being more physical, creating the contact, causing whoever is guarding me to react to it."
The result? Embiid is averaging 26.8 points, 15.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his last five games. As our Carlan Gay detailed, he's been settling for less jump shots, looking instead to attack the paint and draw fouls.
It's helped the 76ers win five of their last six games, their lone loss coming against the Wizards in Washington.
The Raptors haven't had quite as much success as the 76ers have lately. Toronto is 3-2 since defeating Philadelphia, with wins coming against the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz, followed by back-to-back losses to the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets.
Sunday's contest against the 76ers will provide the Raptors an opportunity to snap their first losing streak of the season.
Unlike the first meeting between the Raptors and 76ers this season, Toronto will have Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka in uniform. Lowry struggled in his return from injury, scoring 12 points on 2-for-18 shooting in the loss to the Heat, but he provided a more efficient 19 points (5-for-8 shooting) in Thursday's loss to the Rockets.
Ibaka, meanwhile, has played in each of Toronto's last three games, posting averages of 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. Some of Ibaka's better games of the 2018-19 season came against the 76ers, including a 17-point performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that helped them advance to the Conference Finals.
The Raptors will need more of that from Ibaka on Sunday if Embiid finds his groove.
The NBA has yet to release an official injury report for Sunday's game.
- In his NBA career, Pascal Siakam is 9-2 against Ben Simmons in the regular season. Whereas Siakam is averaging 12.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists against the one-time All-Star, Simmons is averaging 15.0 points, 7.9 assists and 7.6 rebounds.
- Siakam outplayed Simmons in the most recent matchup, finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists to Simmons' 10 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds.
- Simmons' best regular-season showing against Siakam came on Dec. 22 of last season. In 33 minutes, he scored 26 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and dished out eight assists.
- Simmons is coming off of a career-high 34 points in the 76ers' win over the Cavaliers. He only needed 26 minutes to reach that mark. He also knocked down the second 3-pointer of his career.
- According to NBA.com, opponents are averaging 0.59 points per post-up possession against the Raptors this season, the lowest rate in the league.
- Joel Embiid currently leads the league with 8.4 post-up points per game. That makes up over a third of his scoring on the season.
- Embiid isn't the only 76er who has stepped up lately. Tobias Harris is averaging 24.0 points on 48.1 percent shooting in his last four games.
Last Time They Played
Date: Nov. 25, 2019
Score: Raptors 101, 76ers 96
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
76ers: Josh Richardson - 25 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.