In Sunday’s game, the Raptors entered the fourth quarter down to Philadelphia but outscored the 76ers by eight points on their way to a 110-103 win. Two nights ago the 76ers were road favorites minus three against Toronto and did not win or cover the spread.
76ers point guard Ben Simmons led all scorers with 28 points, but that wasn’t enough to carry Philadelphia.
Raptors forward Chris Bucher was the difference, adding 17 points late in the game catching fire from three in the final two minutes of the third quarter, and carrying that over in the fourth. Bucher rained in three three-pointers in the fourth quarter and powered the Raptors late with his hot shooting.
Embiid for MVP
There is no question that 76ers center Joel Embiid is one of the best players in the NBA. In 2021 Embiid took the next step and accumulated a ridiculous stat line on his way to being named to his fourth All-Star Game and a starter for this year’s game.
Coming out of the University of Kansas NBA scouts knew the potential of Joel Embiid was enormous, but having constantly battled injury it was unknown if he would be able to stay on the court.
Embiid’s NBA career got off to a bumpy start missing his first two full-seasons with a foot injury, but right now sits behind Wizards guard Bradley Beal as the second-leading scorer in the NBA averaging 30.3 points per game.
At 7’0” Embiid has a dominant underneath game with an above-average mid-range and three-point game. Embiid is a matchup nightmare for almost anytime especially if they do not have a solid center.
As things stand right now Embiid has carried the 76ers to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and is a top MVP contender averaging a double-double with 30.3 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game.
The 76ers and Raptors have met twice on the season. Each team has won one game splitting the series 1-1 so far. Tuesday night’s matchup allows one team to regain the season series lead before the All-Star break.
In their last five games, the Toronto Raptors are 4-1 against the spread and have had plenty of recent success. Toronto currently sits as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and needs to continue beating Eastern Conference teams to stay in the playoff picture.
The 2021 NBA season is still young, but seeding is very important and the Raptors won’t want to fall too far down the rankings or they could find themselves with a round one matchup in Philadelphia.
Last Five Games
Philadelphia has been one of the best teams in the NBA this season. Recently the 76ers have struggled greatly against top NBA competition with losses against the Raptors, Jazz, and Suns.
Philadelphia will need to figure things out against playoff contenders if they want to have a chance in competing for an NBA championship.
The Toronto Raptors have been very good recently. With two wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and a win last game against the 76ers, the Raptors are making up much-needed ground in the Eastern Conference.
Kyle Lowry – questionable (ankle)
76ers -2 (-110) Moneyline (-132) Over/Under Currently Unavailable
Raptors +2 (-110) Moneyline (+112) Over/Under Currently Unavailable
Philadelphia has not been very good against top competition recently. I expect the 76ers to figure things out after a loss two nights ago to the Raptors. Look for Joel Embiid to once again have a big game and carry the 76ers to a win.