Who: Philadelphia 76ers (0-6) vs Toronto Raptors (5-1)
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Watch On : NBATV/Comcast SportsNet/97.5 The Fanatic
The Lowdown: After coming oh so close to getting their first win against the Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls, the still winless Philadelphia 76ers go on the road for a incredibly tough stretch of four games, beginning with the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors.
The reason for the Raptors’ impressive start can be broken down to two words: Kyle Lowry. The Philadelphia native has been on fire this season, averaging 18.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game and has been setting the tempo for this team since day one. The Raptors’ offense is fifth in the NBA in points per game with 105.3 and is also averaging a league-low 9.8 turnovers a night. DeMar DeRozan has playing his part, averaging 22.5 points per game along with solid contributions from small forward Terrence Ross.
The Sixers, on the other hand, join the Los Angeles Lakers as the only other NBA team without a win. And that looks to be even harder to change without the services of rookie Nerlens Noel who will be out for a second straight game as he recovers from a sprained left ankle. In the meantime, Tony Wroten has been playing some incredible basketball as a starter, averaging 22.5 points, 7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game so far this season. If the Sixers want to have any chance of keeping it close, they will need Wroten to have a similar night to the one he had against the Bulls, where he scored 31 points on 11-of-27 shooting.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, the Raptors are 5-0 this season when leading after three quarters, which will make any fourth-quarter comeback near impossible for a 76ers team that has struggled mightily this season in the final frame.
Things don’t get any easier after this as they head to Dallas for a date with the Mavericks and then a rematch with the Houston Rockets.