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Raptors vs. Sixers: Let's not make this into a big issue

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As the Raptors prepare to take on the Philadelphia 76ers, we remember: every win counts in the Eastern Conference.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, have you looked at the basketball reference page for Philadelphia 76er Ish Smith? No? Here, take a look. Smith is 27 years old and was originally swept into the NBA after signing as a free agent with the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2010. In the five years since he's played for nine teams, competed in a total of 26 playoff minutes, and been involved in trades involving J.J. Redick to... DeMarre Carroll! This is a wild career.

Also, his full name is Ishmael. This is the man who has helped turned the Sixers' season around. ("Around" in this case being a relative term meaning "more than one win a month.")

The Raptors would do well to not take all of this lightly. They are coming off a win last night against their old foes the Washington Wizards, and now they seek a third win in a row. As Dan Grant pointed out in his preview, every win is a big deal for the Raptors as they stand and fight it out in the middle of the Eastern Conference. For Philly, a win means just one more smidge of dignity.

For Toronto, there is still no update on Terrence Ross as of this writing. The Raptors swing man, who's had to step up along with James Johnson in the absence of DeMarre Carroll, hurt his lower back in last night's Wizards game. He remains questionable for tonight's game, and that's all we know.

And so then, I repeat: Ishmael Larry Smith.

Let's get to it in the comments.