The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for an Eastern Conference blockbuster between the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.
10:00 (AEDT), Mon 9th Dec @ Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
History: Played 107: Raptors 62 V 76ers 45
Last meeting: November 25, 2019: Raptors 101 d 76ers 96 at Air Canada Centre
Final Thoughts: NBA Eastern Conference heavyweights the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors meet for the second time this season.
But it’s a rivalry that has borne little fruit for the Sixers in recent times. Aside from their 4-3 Eastern Conference semi-finals series victory last season, the Raptors have won a staggering 22 of their last 25 regular-season clashes with the 76ers.
Toronto carved out a 101-96 home win over Philadelphia two weeks ago – despite the absence of key duo Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. MVP dark horse Pascal Siakam (25 pts, 7 reb) and Fred VanVleet (24 pts, 8 ast) led the way for the Raptors. Ben Simmons was just one rebound short of a triple-double for the Sixers.
But despite the return of Lowry and Ibaka, the 15-6 Raptors have lost their last two to the Heat (121-110 in OT) and Rockets (119-109) – both in Toronto. Those defeats came on the back of a seven-game winning streak characterised by Siakam’s sizzling form.
Sixers on song
The 15-7 Sixers are just one spot back in the NBA’s East standings in fifth, winning nine of their last 11. They bounced back from a disappointing 119-113 loss in Washington by obliterating the Cavaliers 141-94 at home.
With Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson sidelined, Ben Simmons went off for 34 points and 7 assists.
Philadelphia are a perfect 10-0 this season. Toronto are a modest 6-4 on the road. The Sixers are on a back-to-back – though they have won their last two on zero days’ rest – while the Raptors have had two days off.
The Raptors haven’t been too far off the mark in losing their last two. Embiid’s fitness is a concern, particularly given the Sixers’ dreadful record in this rivalry. But Philly’s imposing home record is enough to justify getting behind them.
|Brooklyn Nets V Denver Nuggets||Result – Nuggets @ $1.71|
|Charlotte Hornets V Atlanta Hawks||Total – Under 224.5 @ $1.90|
|Miami Heat V Chicago Bulls||Handicap – Heat -7.5 @ $1.90|
|Washington Wizards V LA Clippers||Margin – Clippers 1-10|
|Dallas Mavericks V Sacramento Kings||Total – Over 216 @ $1.90|
|Portland Trail Blazers V Oklahoma City Thunder||Total – Over 223 @ $1.90|
|LA Lakers V Minnesota Timberwolves||Margin – Lakers 11-20|