The 20-11 Sixers will complete the first half program on Tuesday night, when they will play the 16-15 Raptors in Tampa Bay.
Here are the basics:
- Never: 7:30 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:45 p.m.
- Where: Amalie Arena
- Relay: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live broadcast: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app
And here are three stories to watch:
Hoping for a normal night
Although the Raptors defended well against Joel Embiid on Sunday, holding him to a score of 6 to 20 in a 110-103 victory in Toronto, the Sixers condemned much of their loss by losing good shots.
“Whenever you play, they trap a lot,” said head coach Doc Rivers. “It simply came to our notice then. I thought Joel handled the traps perfectly perfectly. We ended up having great shots, I just couldn’t do any tonight. … He told me, walking, “I had a hundred nice looks tonight, the ball just wouldn’t come in”.
“It simply came to our notice then. I thought many of our kids had a great time tonight. the problem was that they were not going. And I thought the losses started to go up in the way we handled it, so we need to do a better job of handling the failures – because that’s going to happen in a game. ”
In fact, the Sixers were 4 for 21 on three-pointers ranked “open” by NBA.com/Stats. If the Raptors continue to aggressively double Embiid and ask other players to beat them, the Sixers will probably need better performances from players like Tobias Harris and Seth Curry.
Will Lowry return?
The Sixers have almost no record of a clean slate, with Curry the only name mentioned except for two-way players Paul Reed and Rayjon Tucker, who have been in the G League bubble with the 7-1 Delaware Blue Coats. Curry is possible with a left ankle sprain.
Kyle Lowry, a possible name to watch for the Sixers ahead of the March 25 trading deadline, is questionable due to a broken left thumb. He lost the last three games of Toronto, all the victories. In fact, the Raptors are 16-0 in their previous 16 games without Lowry.
It’s a statistic that wakes the head, especially since Toronto’s clean sheet was better with Lowry on the floor than in the last three seasons, per Glass Clean.
How Many All-Stars?
The seven All-Star reserves from each conference will be announced at 7 p.m. on TNT.
Ben Simmons has averaged 22.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.8 steals in his last eight games.
Harris has posted 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this year. His efficiency – 51.3 percent from the floor, 40.3 percent on three-pointers, 89.4 percent on the foul line – was particularly impressive. He admitted in a recent interview with The Athletic’s Sam Amick that he “irritates me” that he is not considered a third star for the Sixers.
The Eastern Conference All-Stars potential is competitive and Embiid has played at MVP level, so some coaches may think three Sixers All-Stars is too much. We will know one way or another before the update.