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DeRozan, Raptors Hand Sixers 5th Straight Loss: Recap and Analysis

Back on the road, the Philadelphia 76ers (15-22) went up against the division rival Toronto Raptors (13-22). The Raptors are currently last in the Atlantic Division and were playing without 2 of their best rebounders/players in Andrea Bargnani (16 points, 4.3 rebounds per game) and rookie Jonas Valancunias (7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game). This should be an easy win for the Sixers, right? Wrong.

Ed Davis (17 pts, 9 reb) drives against Nick Young.

The Sixers kept it close in the first half as they went into the break down by 2. Somehow they were able to keep the game close, although they did not hold a single lead in the entire first half. A positive is that they attacked the lane aggressively and finished the half with 11 free throw attempts. Unfortunately, they could not convert, making only 6 of their 11 free throws.

In the 2nd half, Toronto simply took advantage of the Sixers. Similar to their game against the Nets, the Sixers played a terrible 3rd quarter which led to an even larger deficit. The Sixers allowed the Raptors to score on 11 straight possessions in the 4th quarter, just showing how bad this team has started to play defensively. The Raptors executed their offense well and took smart shots, winning the game 90-72.

Late in the 4th quarter their appeared to be some conflict between Evan Turner and head coach Doug Collins. After the game, Collins said that Turner complained about several injuries and Collins just wanted to give him a rest.

Keys to Sixers’ Loss:

1. Rebounding

This has been a re-occurring theme for the Sixers. They continue to struggle in the rebounding game and tonight was no different. Even without Bargnani and Valancunias the Sixers managed to get out-rebounded by 9. In the previous matchup between these two teams Bargnani and Valancunias combined for 33 points and 18 rebounds. In this matchup, it was Amir Johnson who led the charge on the rebounding end for the Raptors. He finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Former member of the New York Knicks Landry Fields also grabbed 11 rebounds.

2. Interior Defense

The Sixers did a great job of getting into the paint and getting easy buckets, but they could not stop it when the Raptors did the same to them. Unlike the Sixers, the Raptors used their paint dominance to get easy mid-range shots. The Raptors finished with 46 points in the paint. The Sixers can be and were easily abused in the paint, because of their lack of size.

3. Shot Selection

After facing a double-digit deficit early in the 3rd quarter, Jrue Holiday felt the need to takeover the game with isolations. There were many possessions where he waved his teammates away, so he can try and get a bucket. A majority of the time it did not work. It was evident that the Sixers wanted to show more aggression on the offensive end, but they did not do it wisely. Holiday was also caught in several double teams and made poor decisions such as shooting well contested three-pointers. Evan Turner fell into the same trap as well, and found himself yelling for calls after a missed layup.

Play of the Game:

With just over 24 seconds to play in the 4th quarter, the Raptors had possession, but had to shoot the ball since there was still an active shot clock. After slowly dribbling up the court, they caught the Sixers defense napping as Jose Calderon threw a beautiful alley-oop pass to Landry Fields for the slam.

Players of the Game: Thaddeus Young (PHI), DeMar Derozan (TOR)

Thaddeus Young has consistently gave 100% while he is on the court, even through this 5-game losing streak. Young was a main contributor to the interior offense of the Sixers and he finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan looked like an All-Star tonight against the Sixers. He shot 8-15 from the field with 19 points. What made him so important in this game is when Jrue Holiday got hot, Derozan didn’t back down as they traded baskets in the 3rd quarter. The difference between him and Holiday tonight is that he was consistently hot. He has done a great job of developing his jump shot and has a bright future ahead of him.

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Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing, Editorial

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