This just in, the Philadelphia 76ers are not very good.
After a thorough drubbing of Washington on Friday to start a seven-game home stand, the Toronto Raptors came in at peak confidence to play Philadelphia Sunday night. The result was utter decimation. Despite a season-high 20 turnovers, the offence clicked on all cylinders once again, as Toronto shot 69 per cent in the first quarter to build a 13 point lead, had 60 points by halftime, and never looked back on their way to a 120-88 win.
At 6-1, Toronto is now a full game up in the Eastern Conference and continue the best start in franchise history. Philadelphia falls to 0-7.
Yes, the Sixers were under-manned. Nerlens Noel was out with a sprained left ankle. Reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams is still out. Joel Embiid has yet to play an NBA game. What was left was a group of guys who, while eager, lacked the age and talent to challenge the Raptors in any way. Toronto routinely abused the young Sixers’ defence, getting them to bite on most pump fakes, earning a 27-of-30 night at the charity stripe.
Leading them in free throw makes was DeMar DeRozan, who continues his dominance of Philadelphia. After averaging 27.8 points in four wins last year, DeRozan dropped 24 on 8-of-12 shooting to lead Toronto, adding six rebounds, two assists and two steals in the process. One game removed from 20th Anniversary Night, he also pulled one out of the Vince Carter playbook for this 360 layup.
Terrence Ross continued his emergence from the shadows, dropping 17 including 4-of-7 from distance. From the bench unit, Lou Williams put in 16, ten of which came in the first half. James Johnson had just eight points, but this poster on Brandon Davies will have him on highlight reels for months to come.
James Johnson dunk plus Drake plus Drake's glasses https://t.co/2IuMZkulpc— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) November 10, 2014
(No word on which Kensington Market shop sold Drake his glasses.)
Similar to the Washington game, the Raptors looked better defensively out of the gate. Help defence was flying, as the Sixers regularly settled for 1-on-1 play with Tony Wroten, who led Philadelphia with 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting. Chris Johnson chipped in 16 off the bench, but may be remembered better for getting denied by Terrence Ross.
This one was never all that competitive (fans got their pizza with 8:10 left) - those looking for entertainment elsewhere could look to Drake’s eyewear or Karter Lowry’s outstanding varsity jacket. Props to Dad for raising a patriot.
Next game for Toronto is Tuesday against Orlando, before a true test and a showcase on Thursday against the Chicago Bulls - a game that will be nationally televised on TNT in the United States. So, another thorough win for the Raptors.
What were your takeaways?