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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers

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The Raptors and Sixers are set to play an almost meaningless game tonight. But who knows, maybe these two squads will meet again in the playoffs.

Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sixers entered the Bubble as the hipster pick to upset the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. Why not? Their roster is loaded, Joel Embiid is fully healthy and appeared to be staying in shape with his quarantine workout sessions. And the pandemic even bought time for Ben Simmons to recover from his injury.

The Sixers looked dangerous on paper two weeks ago. But that was two weeks ago. In this, their opening game loss to T.J. Warren and the Indiana Pacers was a bad omen. Things went south quickly for the Sixers as they lost Simmons for the season a couple of games later. Now there’s some question as to Embiid’s health too — he hasn’t been ruled out tonight with an injured ankle, but it’s a concern.

Still, the Sixers still have some other good players available. Al Horford and Tobias Harris are solid — as long as you don’t look too closely at their salaries — and set to play. Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton are nice young pieces for the Sixers. They also have a pair players who have found continued success against the Raptors in Mike Scott and Josh Richardson. Even listing as they are, Philly can be dangerous.

The Sixers are a full game behind the Indiana Pacers but don’t have the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, Indiana is locked into a battle with the Houston Rockets right now, the fourth quarter ongoing as you read this. A Pacers win or a Sixers loss would lock Philly into sixth place. With Simmons out, the Sixers might be better off facing the Celtics whom they can punish in the paint, while avoiding a Bucks confrontation for as long as possible.

For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Serge Ibaka sat on Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, so a resting trend is in the air. Nevertheless, Toronto will likely continue getting reps for Pascal Siakam and the bench guards, Matt Thomas, Terence Davis, and Norman Powell too. Expect Chris Boucher to be unleashed as well. All this is to say, as has been reported, it sounds like Lowry and VanVleet will be back on the court tonight.

But in a fun swerve, Nick Nurse will have the night off.

Now let’s get to the updated details for tonight — and our full preview here from Dylan Litman.

Where to Watch

TSN1, 6:30 p.m. ET

Lineups

Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol

Philadelphia — Shake Milton, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid

Injuries

Toronto — Patrick McCaw (left knee soreness — out), Serge Ibaka (right knee contusion — out), OG Anunoby (right knee soreness — out), Oshae Brissett (right knee soreness — out), Nick Nurse (too good — out)

Philadelphia — Alec Burks (left foot soreness — out), Ben Simmons (knee — out indefinitely)