With Toronto currently holding the No. 5 seed and the Sixers in the No. 4 seed, the two teams may be revisiting their playoff matchup from three years ago — albeit, with plenty of different faces on either side. In tonight’s game, we get a chance to at least scratch the surface of what a playoff matchup will look like — though both teams are likely to keep their cards close to their chest.
One bit of juicy information coming out yesterday is that Matisse Thybulle, who’s likely the primary defender on Pascal Siakam (or whoever is terrorizing Philadelphia on that given day) is “ineligible to play” north of the border, indicating he hasn’t been vaccinated and won’t abide by Canada’s federal travel regulations for games at Scotiabank Arena.
This was neither confirmed or denied earlier today by Sixers coach Doc Rivers, who was as vague as you can get about the possible playoff ramifications of Thybulle not getting a little jab in his arm.
Doc on if there’s any optimism that Thybulle’s situation could be different in two weeks (when a possible first-round Game 3/4 could be played in a Toronto): “We’ll find that out in two weeks.” https://t.co/hFiRxaAOct— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) April 7, 2022
On the Raptors side, there’s been talk that now that Toronto’s locked down a real playoff spot, Nick Nurse would take the opportunity to rest some of his key players. That’ll come to pass tonight, as Fred VanVleet will take some well-deserved rest for his nagging knee soreness.
OG Anunoby and Yuta Watanabe remain out with their injuries, respectively, although Nurse mentioned a Sunday return for both is the team’s target — that’s when the Raptors finish their regular season in New York.
Fred VanVleet will rest tonight. Anunoby and Watanabe also out.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) April 7, 2022
With all that set, here are the game details.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet, 7:30 PM EST
Toronto – Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Khem Birch
Philadelphia – James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid
Toronto – Fred VanVleet (rest – out) OG Anunoby (thigh – out), Yuta Watanabe (quad – out)
Philadelphia – Charles Bassey (shoulder – out), Matisse Thybulle (ineligible – out)