They say basketball is a game of runs, but they don’t really say it’s a season of runs. Yet that’s what the early part of this season has seemed like for the Toronto Raptors. They lost three of their first four games. Then won five straight. And now have lost three straight.
They’ll try to snap that streak tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, who have lost two in a row after starting 8-2. The 76ers are not whole, and I’m not just talking about the Ben Simmons situation; they’re missing a bevy of players due to the league’s health and safety protocols, including MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
The Raptors are missing a couple of bodies themselves. Khem Birch will miss the game with a knee issue, and Pascal Siakam is getting a night off for rest, or injury recovery, or load management or whatever the heck you wanna call it. Yuta Watanabe remains sidelined with the world’s most strained calf muscle, and Isaac Bonga is getting some G-League run.
With Siakam and Birch out, Precious Achiuwa slides back into the starting lineup — giving the Raptors the same starting group that won those five straight games. Will that put them back on the winning track? Let’s find out!
Where to Watch
TSN, NBA TV 7:00pm ET
Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa
Philadelphia — Furkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey
Toronto — Khem Birch (knee — out), Yuta Watanabe (calf — out), Pascal Siakam (rest — out), Isaac Bonga (G-League assignment — out)
Philadelphia — Ben Simmons (Personal Reasons — out), Matisse Thybulle (healthy & safety protocols — out), Isaiah Joe (health & safety protocols — out), Joel Embiid (health & safety protocols — out), Seth Curry (Foot — questionable), Tobias Harris (health & safety protocols — questionable), Grant Riller (Knee — out)