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Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers: Preview, TV Schedule, Injuries and more

Can Toronto get back in the win column against a former rival in the 76ers?

Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers
Pascal Siakam takes it to the rim in style.
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Buckle up Toronto Raptor fans, everyone’s favourite foul merchant and king of unethical basketball is set to welcome Toronto to the Wells Fargo Center!

*through gritted teeth* Reigning MVP Joel Embiid *unclenches teeth*, leading candidate for Most Improved Player Tyrese Maxey and the rest of the 19-8 Philadelphia 76ers are the dessert course to the Raptors main dish of tasting winning basketball against the Denver Nuggets. Of course, Philadelphia hasn’t won anything, really, but they sure will be the Raptors opponent and currently boast a much, much better record, and, let’s be honest, roster.

Toronto’s going to be in tough, but before we dive into how tough that might be, let’s take a look at the game details.

How to Watch:

Sportsnet | 7:00 p.m. ET


Toronto: Dennis Schröder, Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl

Philadelphia: Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Kelly Oubre Jr., Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid


Toronto: Christian Koloko (respiratory — out)

Philadelphia: Mo Bomba (illness — questionable), Nicolas Batum (hamstring — out), Patrick Beverley (heel — questionable), Robert Covington (illness — probable), De’Anthony Melton (thigh — questionable)

Will They Play Up?

The Toronto Raptors, for all of their warts, can sometimes sneak up on elite-tier opponents and punch them right in the mouth. They did it with the Bucks and Mavericks in early November and the Suns a couple of weeks after that. The 76ers slot nicely into that mould and there is certainly history between these two teams. Unfortunately for Toronto, the 76ers have done their part in reclaiming some moral dominance over the last handful of meetings, including this season where they’ve already beaten Toronto twice.

It’s going to take a village to keep the bruising, foul-baiting Joel Embiid off the line, all while containing Tyrese Maxey on the perimeter. Where Toronto might get lucky is on the injury report as the Raptors will have a full squad where Philadelphia is a bit banged up.

Surely it will be Scottie Barnes who steps up to shine for Toronto. The All-Star prospect has been battling night in and night out for this team and that will come in handy tonight.

Road Weary

While it’s only the start of the road trip, one has to assume that the outlook of 10 games out of your next 12 on the road when you’re 11-16 isn’t wholly comforting.

The Raptors have only won three of their eleven road games so far this season, and their schedule isn’t helping them either. This road game against the 76ers will be followed up by visits to Boston and Los Angeles, and a whole West Coast road trip.

Keep in mind, this next month before the trade deadline may also be the last ride for some Raptors who may be up on the trade block come February.

How Many Free Throws for Joel Embiid

Embiid is also doing his best to win back to back MVP awards, averaging over 30 points per game in the month of December. He has a history of wanting to play his best against the Raptors, so expect him to come out hot tonight.

As for his free throws — What do you think? He’s shot 61 FTs over the last five games and is currently averaging 11.7 trips to the line on the year. The Raptors foul like hellcats, so, whatever the over might be, I’m taking it. Here comes a 20 piece!