Six games left in the regular season, five on the road.
The Raptors will put their 12-24 record away from Scotiabank Arena to the ultimate test. Stops in Philadelphia, Charlotte and Boston will determine where the Raptors sit in the play-in tournament a week and change from now.
Raptors scope (38-38, 9th in East | Offensive rating: 11th | Defensive rating: 13th)
The original goal coming out of the All-Star break was to capture sixth seed, continuing the “Play-in for what?” phrase. Those chances are slim to none, with Brooklyn three games ahead and the season tiebreaker in hand. A more attainable mission now is to pass Atlanta and capture eighth.
The Hawks also hold the tiebreaker over Toronto and play in Brooklyn on Friday. ATL’s remaining schedule afterwards is: Mavs, @Bulls, Wizards, 76ers and @Celtics. Philly and Boston might be resting players by the time the Hawks get to them. Washington handled the Celtics surprisingly easy earlier this week. Raptors fans will have to hope for a similar surprise win to turn their play-in scenario from single to double elimination.
76ers scope (50-26, 3rd in East | Offensive rating: 4th | Defensive rating: 7th)
It seems like the East’s top six seeds are all wrapped up with each team one through six having a cushion of at least two games. Philly snapped a three game losing streak against the slumping Mavs on Wednesday. The Sixers are simply tuning up for what they hope will be a deep playoff run. Philly hasn’t been out the second round since Allen Iverson was MVP.
Tip-Off: 7pm EDT | TV: Sportsnet One/4K | Radio: TSN Radio 1050
Gary Trent Jr. (elbow), Will Barton (ankle), Dalano Banton (thumb) and Joe Wieskamp (hamstring) are all questionable. Otto Porter Jr. (foot) is done for the season.
PG: Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, Jeff Dowtin Jr.
SG: O.G. Anunoby
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko
Clean injury report for Philly.
PG: James Harden, Shake Milton
SG: Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Furkan Korkmaz, Jaden Springer
SF: Tobias Harris, Georges Niang, Danuel House Jr.
PF: P.J. Tucker, Jalen McDaniels, Paul Reed
C: Joel Embiid, Montrezl Harrell, Dewayne Dedmon
The Sixers are favoured by 5.5 points. Moneyline -230 for Philly, +190 for Toronto. Over/Under is 225.
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