After picking up their first victory of the season against the modest Pacers, the Sixers have no time to breathe and continue in Canada against the solid Raptors at the start of the season, who can count on the return from injury of Scottie Barnes to this “remake” of the poster for the first round of the last playoffs.
The first half, as a whole, is totally in favor of the locals. Nick Nurse’s men indeed signed 24 first minutes of very good quality, marked in particular by the hot shot of Pascal Siakam, who scored 19 points at 7/11 on shots, accompanied by 4 rebounds and 4 assists. In the wake of the Cameroonian, it is collectively that the Raptors walk on water, with 63 points and 52% of their shots converted, 16 passes distributed and only one lost ball!
The Sixers pale in comparison, since their offensive game is much more caricatural: 41 of the 53 points come from the trio Embiid – Harden – Maxey, who avoid sinking while the production of the bench is once again anemic (10 points including 7 De’Anthony Melton alone), and a worrying ratio of 11 passes for 6 ball losses.
Back from the locker room, it’s exactly the same scenario for Philly: Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey bend over backwards in attack, but the bench does not follow and remains strikingly ineffective (no points scored in the third quarter ). And as the 76ers are tied with the Raptors in the third act (26-26), the score does not decrease after the half hour (86-76).
It is therefore without great surprise that the fourth quarter takes place, briefly interesting when Embiid and Maxey, in a final vain effort, bring theirs to five units. But the response of the Raptors, never worried and always in control, is quick and reduces the gap to 10 units at the final buzzer (119-109).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Raptors score in the first half. It is one of the most successful halves of the young 2022/23 season, for sure, that the Raptors signed in the first act. With 63 points at 52% on shots, and an impressive ratio of 16 assists for a single loss of the ball, Nick Nurse’s men hit hard from the start and were in good shape to live a quiet second half. . Which was then indeed the case, since their opponents were never able to come back to their height during the last 24 minutes.
– The 76ers paid cash for their ball losses. It’s been one of the major flaws in the 76ers’ game since the start of the season, and it hasn’t failed yet during this game. With 12 ball losses and 21 points conceded on these, Doc Rivers’ men gave the stick to be beaten. The Raptors were certainly difficult to maneuver because in a great evening of address on half-court, but it is certain that giving them free points clearly did not help… The attack of the 76ers still has work to do.
TOPS & FLOPS
✅ Pascal Siakam. The offensive boss of the Raptors since the start of the season has again signed a good performance: 20 points (7/16), 13 assists and 5 rebounds. It was especially in the first quarter that he showed himself, scoring 15 of his 20 points during this first act. He then weighed in the “playmaking” and in defense.
✅ Gary Trent Jr, who offers himself a pure scoring match: 27 points (11/16, 5/10), no assists and no rebounds. A fun performance to watch, from a player who is just as much.
✅ Joel Embiid & Tyrese Maxey. Difficult not to feel sorry for them after this meeting, so symptomatic of the concerns of the 76ers at the start of the season. The two players gave their all, planted 31 points each with 10 rebounds and 9 assists combined, but lost. Too lonely because of the offensive anemia of their teammates (except James Harden).
⛔️ The 76ers bench. Only 18 points scored by the 76ers substitutes, including 12 for De’Anthony Melton alone, who was the only satisfaction of the match, excluding “Big Three”. But overall, the 76ers bench has been a very big weak point since the start of the season, and the meager production of substitutes puts more responsibility on the shoulders of the starters, who cannot do everything even on a big day, like this. game showed it.
The two teams meet again, still in Toronto, on the night of Friday to Saturday (1h30)