This is a battle of the Eastern Conference elites, and is bound to be a fun one. Both have a lot of star power, and impressive supporting casts. Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Joel Embiid have Philly looking like one of the top teams in the NBA.
The Raptors, on the other hand, have Kawhi Leonard to thank for their amazing start. Kyle Lowry has passed the ball as well as anybody in the NBA, while Danny Green has been stroking the three. These guys have won eight of nine, and have a winning percentage of .800.
With one of the top scoring offenses in the league this year, they have taken their strong play from last season, and gotten even better. Joel Embiid is averaging 27 points and 13 rebounds per game, and is far and ahead the #1 free throw shooter in the NBA by attempts. Jimmy Butler is averaging 18 points per game since he got here, while Redick is right around 20.0 ppg. This is a group of players who really love playing with one another.
Though they won’t have Markelle Fultz for the foreseeable future, TJ McConnell has been very impressive as the backup guard, and he’s got a whole lot of energy. Ben Simmons continues to lack a jump shot, but it is not hurting the team, yet. We’ll see if they can keep it going against Toronto.
It’s hard to say this team has any weakness based on how they’ve started the season, but it’s true. Kawhi Leonard is looking for sure like the best two-way player in the game, while Lowry and Green keep burying the three ball. Serge Ibaka is looking as good as he has since originally being traded by OKC, and this is a very welcome sign for them. With all of the depth they have, injuries haven’t slowed them down in the slightest. With Valanciunas coming off the bench, they have some real talent on the second unit.
They have six players averaging 10+ points per game, as they have really done a fantastic job of sharing the wealth. They average 25 assists per game, and move the ball as well as any other team in the league. Fred Van Vleet, one of the top reserves in the NBA last season, has continued his strong play this year. It is hard to identify a team that can come in and beat Toronto. What team can outplay these guys in a given game? I’ll tell you who… nobody!
Raptors keep it rolling, improve to 21-5 with win over Philly
They had a mini three-game skid earlier in the year, but the Raptors are 21-2 outside of that. They won’t let the Sixers get them down.
Embiid and Butler won’t be able to help the Sixers get the win today. It will be all Toronto, as a 30-point night from Kawhi will lead them to victory.
Free Pick: Raptors
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