Toronto at Philadelphia
Time: 7 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: PHI -3
Odds c/o 5dimes
TOR TEAM NOTES:
The Toronto Raptors are 38-16 and atop the Eastern Conference, and trail the Milwaukee Bucks by two full games in the Eastern Conference standings. The Raptors have won six of its last 10 games, but its +5.3 point differential lingers far behind Milwaukee’s +10.
The Raptors most recently defeated the L.A. Clippers 121-103. It has lost three of its last five, overall, though. The Raptors maintain a 3.5-game lead over the Boston Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Kawhi Leonard has averaged 28.8 points per game over his last six games, and on the season he is good for 27.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. He has been the key to Toronto thriving to the degree it has, and with LeBron James taking his talents Westward, the Raptors may finally be able to get over the proverbial hump in the 2019 playoffs.
PHI TEAM NOTES:
The Philadelphia 76ers have won seven of its last 10 games. It is currently seeded No. 4 in the East, but it trails Conference-leading Milwaukee by just 5.5 games.
In the most recent loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Sixers fell 108-115 despite 29 points from Joel Embiid. He also added 17 rebounds but finished -3 for his 39 minutes of court time.
Philadelphia shot just 44.1 recent from the floor in the loss to the Kings, and it was outrebounded by 10 boards. The Sixers desperately need Embiid, the true centerpiece of its team, but it also needs a healthy Jimmy Butler.
Right now, it is simply trying to stay afloat with Simmons responsible for nearly everything with his rag-tag supporting cast. Butler is expected to return from his sprained wrist tonight.??The 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz has bust written all over him and is not currently playing, and Jimmy Butler is a strong addition, but the Sixers have certainly missed the defensive presence Robert Covington gave them (he and Dario Saric were the two key players traded for Butler). The Sixers also are pretty heavily reliant on its top-end talent, and adding depth is not something that should be left out of consideration.
Perhaps, if the team can manage to swing it, a team would be willing to take on Fultz as a “reclamation” project while giving the Sixers some pieces it could use in its second unit. No matter what the case, it is entirely unclear how Fultz fits into any future plans and there are some certain holes on this roster that need addressing after giving up key pieces to acquire Butler this season.