Raptors Rapid Recap - Philadelphia 114 - Toronto 101


-CBC couldn't cut to skiing fast enough after this one.  Even though Chris Bosh returned, the Toronto Raptors looked lost at both ends of the court, losing 114 to 101 to the Philadelphia 76ers.  Philly simply did whatever they wanted offensively on this afternoon, and while Toronto cut the lead to 6 with about five minutes left, they just couldn't get the stops needed to get any closer.

-How bad was Toronto defensively this afternoon?  How about allowing Philly to shoot 56% from the field, 75% from long-range, and on top of this, the 76ers made 15 of their 19 free-throws.  Offense doesn't get much more efficient than that.  Conversely, while Toronto shot 51 per cent from the field themselves, it took them a while to get going for long range and from the line the Raps were a measly 8 of 12.

-So where does the blame lie in this loss?  Hard not to put the whole team under the gun today.  The starters lacked any sort of urgency, the bench was ok in stretches but careless with the ball, Bosh looked rusty, and Andrea aside from one quarter wasn't aggressive enough.  I can't even put the blame on Hedo, as he sat this one out with his nagging ankle issues.  Overall the Raps just didn't bring it.

-Philly however did, especially on offense where Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday absolutely lit up the Dinos.  Young had a career-high 32 points while Holiday had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the win.  In fact all five Philadelphia starters scored in double figures and this was the main difference considering Toronto's bench outscored Philly's.

-The other main problem this afternoon?  For some reason Toronto was hell-bent on going one-on-five offensively time and time again.  From Jarrett Jack to Reggie Evans, this theme resulted in needless turnover after turnover and even though the Raps finished with 23 assists, many of them came late in the game when things were getting well out of hand.

-Bottom line - this could be a very tough loss to swallow.  The Raps are about to embark on a mini-road swing next and while teams like the Kings and Warriors may not seem too tough, both play styles that Toronto has problems defending, and after those games, the Raptors face the Blazers, Hawks and Thunder in succession.  Considering this afternoon's loss drops Toronto to sixth in the Conference, only two games out of ninth spot, this next stretch could be crucial in determining the team's playoff fortunes...

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