Quick Reaction: 76ers 112, Raptors 129

6 mins read
Philadelphia 112 Final
Box Score
129 Toronto

P. Siakam33 MIN, 15 PTS, 15 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 6-8 FG, 0-1 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 24 +/-

Siakam rarely ever has awful performances on the basketball court. Why? Because even when the numbers don’t favour him, the energy and effort do. In this game, both favoured him. He looks like a prime candidate for MIP this season.

K. Leonard34 MIN, 31 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 4 STL, 10-19 FG, 2-5 3FG, 9-10 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Leonard looked well-rested after taking the night off versus the undefeated Bucks. He came into the game firing offensively and was a nuisance defensively, but left briefly due to an eye injury.

S. Ibaka30 MIN, 16 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 7-12 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 BLK, 2 TO, 14 +/-

Ibaka has done a great job protecting the rim for Toronto this season. Tonight was no different. He did a solid job on Embiid early (although the team collapsed on JoJo in deep-post position) and swatted Simmons a couple times, for good measure.

K. Lowry37 MIN, 20 PTS, 3 REB, 12 AST, 1 STL, 7-14 FG, 3-7 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 BLK, 6 TO, 20 +/-

This pass-first version of Lowry is awesome to watch. Don’t get me wrong — he knows when it’s time to get his, but he’s looking for his teammates more than ever in his career. It’s a great development for a guard steady approaching the wee end of his prime years.

D. Green35 MIN, 10 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 4-9 FG, 2-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 18 +/-

Green did everything he needed to in this game, especially defensively. Man, is his timing and instincts elite on that end of the floor. A couple possessions where he threw the offense totally out of whack by driving in, but for the most part — he knows what his role is. Also had some gorgeous dimes in this one, too.

C. Miles18 MIN, 3 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-4 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

CJ’s night was completely overshadowed by great player performances all around. He played a forgettable game, still trying to rediscover his shooting stroke.

J. Valanciunas17 MIN, 23 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 8-14 FG, 1-3 3FG, 6-6 FT, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 3 +/-

JV needed to rebound in this game after an unusually horrific game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. He did, and in a big way early. His play trailed off in the second half, as he couldn’t keep up with the supersonic pace. They needed this version of Valanciunas versus one of the better bigs in the association.

D. Wright14 MIN, 7 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 3-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -9 +/-

Delon was his usual disruptive self, making life hard on Markelle Fultz. He also had a decent scoring output in this one. With VanVleet still out, it’s imperative Wright performed in this one — and that he did.

N. Powell14 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 5 +/-

Compared to last season’s first several games, Powell has actually looked considerably more comfortable both in the system and playing within himself. In this game, I was seeing flashbacks of last season. The large deficit in the second half helped him out a bit.

L. Brown4 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

Lorenzo didn’t do enough in this one to warrant extended minutes.

Nick Nurse

It was critical for Nurse to re-galvanise the troops after a disappointing loss to the Bucks. The Raptors put together their best performance of the season yet — sharing the basketball beautifully, forcing turnovers all over, and scoring at will. It’s only one game, but the pundits who picked Philly over Toronto this season must be shook.

Things We Saw

  1. You could make a serious argument that thus far, this was the best game of the season for all of Danny Green, Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam. It also helps that Lowry was up for the moment in an early, but crucial Eastern Conference matchup.
  2. Serge Ibaka is having an absolutely phenomenal start to this season. On a back-to-back versus another conference giant in the 76ers, Ibaka outperformed every Sixer on the floor at all times. His shot looks improved, he’s protecting the paint, and is often setting the tone defensively with timely steals or blocks. He’s really living up to his name, word to Baka.
  3. I am never one to encourage gambling, but what are the odds for Pascal Siakam winning Most Improved Player of the Year and can I bet my life savings on it?
  4. Those late-game MVP chants for Kawhi Leonard are everything.

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