It will never not be weird that the Sixers drafted three centres of varying levels of utility in this pace-and-space era of the modern NBA. Obviously, barring injury, Joel Embiid fits — he’s got the footwork, and the agility, and the range(!), to be a do-it-all big man today. But Nerlens Noel was traded out of town for a song, and poor Jahlil Okafor, a king in college, is, well... where is he?
The official report suggests he is ill, but we don’t know that for a fact. The Sixers may be holding him out for some other undisclosed reason. Or maybe they are looking to trade him? Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve listed him as the starter now, and even if he does play, the question mark fits. Okafor’s presence in the NBA, and on the Sixers, is a bizarre existential quandary.
As for the Raptors: they’re good, folks. We don’t have a lot of good regular season data to go on (as one game against the Terri-Bulls is the definition of a small sample size), but it has been fun to watch the younger Raptors take off. And while Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Serge Ibaka still look like they’re getting up to speed, we know it’s just a matter of time before the Raptors are firing on all cylinders.
On to the game! (And the comment section!)
Where to Watch:
Sportsnet One at 7:30 pm
Raptors - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
But wait, we have an ominous update on DeRozan:
Miles would seem to be the likely replacement if DeRozan (flu) can't play but we know Casey likes to keep his 2nd unit together. McKinnie?— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) October 21, 2017
Sixers - Jerryd Bayless, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor?
Raptors - Malcolm Miller
Sixers - Joel Embiid (Rest!), Richaun Holmes