We’re only in day four of the Raptors season, but Nick Nurse is already making his return after spending a decade in Toronto.
Nurse went 227-163 in the regular season and 25-16 in the playoffs in five seasons as the Raptors head coach. He ranks second behind Dwane Casey all-time in wins (320) and is the only coach to post a plus-500 mark in both the regular season and postseason. His departure was far from pretty but I would still expect a warm tribute and ovation, especially when the 2019 championship highlights start rolling in.
Will Nurse get his first win as a Sixer against his old team?
For a team thats dealing with a highly publicized James Harden saga (and two seasons removed beginning a season with a disgruntled Ben Simmons in eerily similar fashion), the Sixers were very competitive against Milwaukee in their season opener. Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris had 31 and 20 points respectively, Kelly Oubre Jr. provided a 27 point spark off the bench in his Sixer debut and Philly led late in the fourth until Dame Time took over. For what its worth, Maxey’s career-high of 44 points against the Raptors came exactly a year ago.
Joel Embiid left something to be desired, shooting 9-21 and committing seven turnovers. One of those miscues was a result of possibly the worst touch pass you will ever see.
Embiid had a lot to say about Nurse in the past, from the constant triple teams to comments about Nurse hating his foul calls. At least they are on the same team now!
Tough task to bounce back after a complete atrocity of a collapse in Chicago less than 24 hours ago. Toronto led by 17 with under five minutes left, only to blow the game with a comedy of errors in both regulation and overtime. The bright spot is that Scottie Barnes posted his second career triple-double, although he was in no mood to celebrate.
Player to watch: Pascal Siakam is trying to find his spots with the new offence and being featured off-ball more. He’s averaging 16.5 points (down from last season’s 24.2) on 2.5 less shots through two games. Pascal has enjoyed some big games against Philly in the past, but can he get back in rhythm offensively against a coach who knows all his moves?
Tip-Off: 7:30pm EDT | TV: Sportsnet 1, 4K | Radio: TSN Radio 1050
James Harden (personal) is out. This update on his situation was from a couple of days ago.
PG: Tyrese Maxey, Patrick Beverley, Terquavion Smith
SG: De’Anthony Melton, Kelly Oubre Jr, Jaden Springer, Ricky Council IV, Javonte Smart
SF: Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House Jr.
PF: P.J. Tucker, Paul Reed, Filip Petrusev
C: Joel Embiid, Mo Bamba
O.G. Anunoby limped off the court yesterday with a muscle cramp and is listed as day-to-day. Christian Koloko remains out with a respiratory issue.
PG: Dennis Schroder, Malachi Flynn, Markquis Nowell
SG: O.G. Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr, Gradey Dick, Javon Freeman-Liberty
SF: Scottie Barnes, Jalen McDaniels, Otto Porter Jr, Garrett Temple, Ron Harper Jr.
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa
Philly is favoured by four points. Raptors moneyline is currently +140. Over/Under is 214.5.