The Toronto Raptors finish the game big, after being down 12-2, and Dwane Casey making early changes to his bench. The Raptors (24-15) were able to get a strong contribution from his bench; 40 points, in comparison to the Philadelphia 76ers‘ 38 from the bench, along with a solid 16 points from Terrence Ross, stepping up big time despite leaving the previous game with a back injury.
The Sixers (4-35) on the other hand, were able to get some solid contributions from their bench, and Ish Smith, looked like an all-star point.
Tonight’s game was certainly a wake up call, especially as the Raptors head out to London, however, it’s also good to leave the country on a good note.
Offense was solid, with approximately 55% from the field, 19 assists, 52 points in the paint, 27 trips to the free-throw line with 22 makes, in connection with efficient performances from Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Jonas Valanciunas. The Raptors didn’t move the ball particularly well overall, especially in the beginning where the offense was slow, but they started to develop momentum as the pace picked up.
The Raps allowed approximately 49% from the field, and nearly 65% from the three-point line, however held the Sixers to under 100 points. The defense was actually not that bad, but consider the Raptors’ standards defensively, especially in the past couple games, this was not a strong game on that end. Letting a guy like Ish Smith explode, especially with two guys at the head of the snake who are strong defensive players, doesn’t make it look good on paper.
The Raptors won the rebounding battle, however, not a whole lot of rebounding in general, due to the Sixers making a good percentage of their shots, and not attacking the offensive glass like they have in the recent past.
Kyle Lowry definitely deserves it, but DeMar DeRozan, like mentioned in the pre-game analysis, was needed in order to impact the win. In the first half, DeRozan was absolutely monster; did some great things offensively, and was all over the place in terms of finding his teammates, and bringing down boards when he could. If there was a second half MVP, it’d be Lowry, but DeRozan’s presence offensively allowed the others to step up.