clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Raptors @ 76ers Preview: Back on the Road for Some Brotherly Love

New, comments

After a brief stop at home, the Toronto Raptors are back on the road for a date with the winless Philadelphia 76ers.

DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors take on the 76ers in Philadelphia
DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors take on the 76ers in Philadelphia
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to hit the panic button in Raptorland.

Ok, not really, but Toronto's losing streak has hit an ugly three games, the latest at the hands of the New York Knicks in what was a crucial home game in a road-heavy start to the 2015-16 season.

Sure, a botched call by the officials where Carmelo Anthony clearly stepped out of bounds with no call made will get all the attention, but the Raptors should not have found themselves in a position where that would be the difference in the ball game.

The Raptors only pieced together one complete quarter on the night, that being the third frame where they outscored their visitors by eight points. That's simply not going to get it done on most nights in the NBA.

Now it's time to refocus and head to Philadelphia on Wednesday night where the winless 76ers await. This could be the perfect recipe to get Toronto back to its winning ways.

Things to Watch for:

Battle in the Middle:

The most fascinating individual matchup between these two teams figures to be Jonas Valanciunas versus impressive rookie Jahlil Okafor. Valanciunas looks like a new man this season, playing with an increased dose of confidence and even inspiring Dwane Casey to give him some burn in crunch time. Okafor is far from a finished product, but has shown flashes of brilliance en route to averaging a very solid 20 points and seven rebounds on the year.

Injured Raptors:

DeMarre Carroll sat out his second straight contest Tuesday against the Knicks due to plantar fasciitis while Terrence Ross missed his first game of the season because of a sprained left thumb - an injury that came out of nowhere. We know Ross is out for sure, but will Will Casey give Carroll another night off against a struggling 76ers team?

Fourth-Quarter Problems

"We the fourth." That was one of the Raptors' mottos last season, referring to the sixth-best fourth-quarter scoring team in the league. During the current three-game skid, Toronto has been outscored 76-55 in the final frame while shooting an atrocious 32 per cent from the floor. DeMar DeRozan and company are going to need to figure out a better recipe for closing games. Carroll's return seemingly can't come soon enough as his presence would surely help stabilize some of the issues we are seeing.

Where to watch: TSN at 7:00 p.m. ET

*Don't forget to check in with our game thread later in the day to keep up with the latest news.