The Raps are in Philly tonight to play a 76ers team which has outperformed expectations so far this season – sans Andrew Bynum and his hair, they’ve still managed to compile a better-than-reasonable 6 and 4 record. No Lowry, Fields, or Anderson yet for the Raps, but Philly is not particularly strong at the 3 so the Lowry loss is the only one that really hurts us for tonight’s game, in my opinion.

This is a big three game road swing for the Raptors – after tonight’s game in Philly, the team heads to Charlotte and Detroit – that’s right, the worst team in the league, and the team everyone thought would be the worst team in the league. Basically what I’m saying here is that if the Raps can get this one, a four game winning streak is not out of the question, and would really be key in helping the team tread water, both while Lowry is out, and during that really tough 22 game stretch to open the season that pundits spoke about ad nauseum.

After Indiana, the 76ers are the second team Toronto’s seen twice this year – they lost 93-83 ten days ago at home in what was widely derided as a pretty underwhelming performance, one that drew some boos at home. The Sixers were last in the NBA in O-rating during the last match-up – they’ve improved that to 28th in the time since – but on paper, this is a team that should have some trouble scoring, and one that Toronto can hopefully begin making steps to improve its team defence with. We’ve slipped to the bottom 3rd in the league in D-rating (20th) and that’s just not good enough for a team who’s calling card is supposed to be its team defence, even with Lowry out.

The 76ers are ranked second in D-rating this season (behind only Indiana, which I found slightly surprising) and so points should be hard to come by for Toronto – DeMar will draw the Sixers best wing defender on the floor, whether that’s Turner, Richardson etc. and his success will be a huge key to a win tonight – with Bargs struggling, he needs to keep playing like an alpha dog, especially against a team like Philly who will feast on our other, below-average wing scoring options.

Key matchup of the night is Jose and Jrue Holiday at the point – Holiday’s had an incredible start to the season and if Jose can just do Jose things on offense and continue to play passable D (doing his best to stay in front of a quick young player, closing out on 3s, etc) then the Raptors should be able to pull out a win here. Getting some offence from our non-Bargnani bigs is a must as well – last time the Raps played the Sixers, Jonas, Ed, and Amir combined for just ten points and that’s not good enough, especially when the players you’re playing opposite are an undersized Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, and the immortal Kwame Brown.

I don’t want to keep picking on Andrea – we all know what he needs to do. A full game of effort and some patience on offense and he’ll contribute to a victory tonight. If not, well, he won’t. All in all, Raptors seem to have the advantage on paper in terms of offensive personnel, so this game is all about defence. If the Raps take the early season criticism to heart, work their butts off on their end of the floor, and none of Philly’s streaky shooters go nuts, the first winning streak of the season is very attainable tonight.

Philly’s favoured by 5. Call me crazy, but I like the Raptors by the same margin. Raptors 92, Sixers 87. Tip at 7:00 EST on TSN.

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  • Matt52

    “A full game of effort….”

    Sad when that is what fans are craving for.

  • enlightenment

    Im so certain that Jose and Demar will keep the good times rolling; Im even betting on this game!

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      A fool & his money are soon parted………..

    • Destro

      Your a fool to be on the raptors in this game…Raps played well in Philly for years and the matchups just dont favor them….

      Holiday vs Calderon

      Dont go with T.O. !

      I havent looked at then lines but id go Sixers on the spread and ML

      HEAVY !

  • BrainColangelo

    I don’t think we need to mention not having Fields or Anderson each day.  I have to believe that a Fields, Anderson, McGuire and Kleiza rotation at SF is among the worst in NBA history.

    • Arsenalist

      I’d say the 1950-51 Washington Capitols adhoc small-forward lineup of Johnny Norlander, Ed Bartels, Bones McKinney and Dick Schnittker still hold that distinction.

      • Destro

        Anything before 1965 in the NBA technically doesnt count in anyway…

    • Konanas

      Let’s be optimistic, Fields had problems with elbow, he still can show us something new after he backs on court healthy 😀

    • Gregast

      The nerve damage to Field’s shooting hand/arm/elbow would be the equivalent to nerve damage in the back for a warehouseman, the equivalent to a detached retina to a cab driver or a broken arm to your favourite barber. None of these people could do their jobs properly and they would be told to go home and stay there until the medical problem is resolved. Even if the worker was the best warehouseman, the best driver or the best barber, their abilities would be hampered to the point where they would be considered incompetent.

      Does that help? Do you get it now? Can you wait for a few weeks?

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Fields is a scrub bench player- point blank, wake up and smell the coffee BC fucked up with this signing- who awards a player with a nice contract coming off of a piss poor season?

        How’s BC’s kool aid tasting nowadays?

        • Lorenzo

          Like rainwater, you’d know

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    Can’t wait to see Bynum finally play.  I wonder if he will keep his immense fro.  With his hair, he must be 7’6″.  I’m sure it will be a good game though.  I think the Raptos might steal this one. 

    • No

      Bynum is injured

    • Destro

      Clearly someone who reads the daily sports section…

  • Overthewall

    I wish this team would tank the rest of the season already.  We have no chance anyways.  I wish Bargnani would continue to be garbage and not have a turnaround, so that the fans can undoubtedly oust this guy; because somehow, this guy is still considered the cornerstone of this franchise.  LIke WTH??  This guy can’t even guard or rebound against WNBA players, and will probably shoot 30% FG regardless of where he plays.  Lame.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      That’s just it BC has built a team that isn’t bad enough to get a top 3 pick but not good enough to make the playoffs the Raptors are stuck in the NBA quagmire of medocrity nurtured by BC and his handling (building the team around a player that doesn’t give a shit except to get his 20 shots up per game) of his Golden Child Mr Half Ass himself Andrea Bargnani post Sam & CBosh.

      Ask Casey today if he still thinks that AB is still Dirk like?lmfao

      • Destro

        You really think this team aint bad enough to get a top 3 pick ? Look at where they are in the standings bruh…

    • Lorenzo

       I thought you were done with the Raptors? You still here?

      • OvertheWall

        Yo man, I have moved on to Celtics.  But I live in TO man, so I can’t help but listen to 680 news or something and hear how garbage this team is.  And I mean it still hurts because I have been a Raps fan all these frigging years.  So yea, I still have trouble forgetting.

    • NyAlesund

       Tanking? Are you kidding me? What do you really want? To pick on the draft the next Durant, James, Duncan, Bryant………..?

      I want to see this team playing the po games, not another useless games trying to lose more and more.

      Do you understand that noboby wants to came here untill this team it looks like shit?

  • Roarque

    DDR will need some help tonight. Jose may have to rely on his twin brother Amir ( seperated at birth ) to provide this extra offensive effort. Maybe Amir’s efforts will embarass AB into trying to help out from the corner of our flat screens – you know, out there were there’s no chance of anyone touching you?

    Imagine being 7 feet tall and weighing in at 250 and STILL being afraid to drive the lane.

    • Destro

      Hes so scared he literally high steps like theres aliigators below him when he runs…

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    1st off stop saying who the Raptors don’t have available as almost all NBA teams are dealing with injuries to frontline players & key subs alike you play with who suits up- no excuses.

    JRich usually abuses DD.

    Speaking of Philly not being particularly strong at SF how about Thadeus Young who always seems to play good against the Raptors or Dorrell Wright (who lit the Raptors up from 3 point land last game) either of whom is better than anything the Raptors are putting out at SF not to mention that JRich & ETurner can move to the SF spot for Philly.

    Raptors are going to lose all 3 upcoming road games- 76ers, Bobcats (had Raptors number last season and are playing solid ball right now at 5-4) & Detroit (who just beat Boston by 10 on Nov 18th and has won 2 of their last 3 games **Bos & Philly** after losing their 1st 7 games is not a gimme win).

    20th in defense rating, what happened to Casey’s “CULTURE CHANGE” sponsored by BC- a pr spin in the wind?lol smh

    Action speaks louder than words matter of fact Sam Mitchell said on NBATV that Dwane told him this past summer that he would “sacrifice some defense for more offense” this season.

    In closing BC signs a SG this off season (Fields), signs SG Demar to a new contract extension and drafts a SG in TRoss (while passing on ADrummond never can have to many bigs in the NBA especially one with all the skills to pay the bills) which equals the stagnation of Raptors Nation under BC’s leadership & vision.

    • KJ-B

      Agree with everything except the DeRozan comment–if u sold low on DeRozan well that’s another topic…Dude be balling–fully expect the schooling to go the other way around if they “let” Richardson guard him 1 on 1…most likely it’ll be Turner or probably Young…

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        JRich is bigger than DD, more athletic than DD, has better fundamentals than DD and is a better overall player than DD need I say more?

        DD is steadily improving (and has improved a great deal since he came into the NBA with no jumper or handles) but I want to see what he does over 82 games before I declare his contract extension wise or BC just retaining an assest to make it look like he did something positive to the fan base.

        But who was BC bidding against for DD?

        I would have waited until this season was over to see what kind of contract to offer or not offer DD.

        BC has a history of giving out questionable contracts to retain and/or obtain his players (AB, Turk, DD, Amir, Fields, Jose, Kleiza) who for the most part aren’t even proven winners nor leaders in the NBA- what was the NBA lockout about again (GMs giving out ridiculous contracts or BRI % shares)?

        • Dan

           Don’t forget Kapano!

        • Destro

          In 2012 J Rich isnt bigger faster better OR more athletic than DeMar

          stop drinking the yellow crystal light bruh…

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Wait until they match up tonite- time will tell, but I do know what I’m talking about.

          • K.J.P

            Stop saying Bruh, lol. So annoying. 

            • Destro

              Stfu BRUH

        • Chrisbem100

          What are you using to compare DD and J-Rich, just out of curiosity?  I’ll give you that J-Rich has better fundamentals (in his 13th year in the league), but beyond that- unless Philly has a time machine- I don’t see any way that you can possibly think he’s a better player today.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            My eyes and basketball knowledge.

            Still think that?lol

        • EmarErozan

          Maybe J-Rich at his peak was a better athlete than EMar, but that’s nit even close to the case now. EMar is taller than J-Rich.

          At his peak, J-Rich was a decent defender and a good shooter but EMar is more skilled already than J-Rich was with the ball.

  • tmk

    There’s no way we win this one. This is a loss.

  • j bean

    Agree the match up at pg will tell the story. Hopefully Jose doesn’t get burned too badly and he can keep his big assist totals rolling.

  • Isn’t there a half-decent  shooting forward in the D-League somewhere they could sign for a 10-day? It’d be nice to have Weems right now. Or even James Johnson.

    This game could go our way though. I hope Amir starts. And Bargs comes of the bench, but that’s wishing for too much.

  • Destro

    Lets play guess bargnani’s stat line for the night :

    35 MINS
    17 pts/3 rebounds/5 goofy ass faces/1 assist/4 missed rotations/5 no help assignments

    6-16 FG/2-5 3 FG/3-4 FT 

  • the511
    • JohnHP

      Don’t be bringin no raptors song here son. 

      • 511

        k dad. 

  • Afimi Sinting

    I can see that the MOVIE has started mybe this one has a different ending than TJ and JACK . 

  • KJ-B

    Maaan, Dwane Casey knows how to lose games, I’ll give that much–as per usual raps going away from DeRozan late in the 4th–dude scored 10 in a row before 1 miss and now…err, the usual L–I guess, the game is too easy so they have to make it complicated…

    • cdub

      yeah its just messed up.  they were in the bonus with over 8 minutes left in the 4th and they do that…..where was val in the 4th?  I know philly was playing small ball but you couldn’t tell with all the boards they were grabbing.

  • Afimi Sinting

    With over 8mins to go in the 4th, every time 6ers foul Raps it’s free time but but but but