The Philadelphia 76ers lit up the Toronto Raptors Sunday afternoon, scorching the Dinos for 114 points. Jrue Holiday led the charge in the fourth quarter, scoring 8 points in the frame to extinguish any attempt at a late game comeback.
The win for the Sixers snaps a five game losing streak and the loss sends the Raptors to 3 – 6 since the All Star break and drops the team to sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
With only two games separating the Raptors from the number 9 spot, the upcoming four game West Coast road trip couldn’t come at a worse time.
Poor defense, again.
Statistically speaking the Raptors are the worst defensive team in the NBA. And when a team like the 76ers goes off for 114 points, something’s got to give. That’s a good 8 points worse than our defensive average.
In the past, our offense has overcome our deficiency on D, but the team isn’t exactly rolling offensively these days, Andrea Bargnani in particular, so tightening the screws is an absolute necessity.
Turnovers and sloppy play
What struck me as awful in Sunday’s game was the amount of turnovers the Raptors committed. 18 for anyone counting at home. It’s been a unspoken flaw of this team of late. The worst of the bunch came on a backcourt violation after the Sixers committed a backcourt violation of their own. Basically a free pass in the NBA. Sloppy to say the least. I wonder if that’s ever happened before?
Welcome back Bosh. But for how long?
Chris Bosh was back on the court after missing 7 games with a ankle sprain. He looked tentative on offense, feeling his way through the game. But all in all, it was a solid first game back with 12 points and 12 boards.
When the Raptors we’re rolling in February the thought of Chris Bosh leaving seemed preposterous to me. Now that the team is falling apart a little, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. I’ll tell you one thing, the worst case scenario would be for this team to finish 9th in the East. If that happens, the odds of Chris Bosh returning are slim to none. And with a nasty looking four game road trip coming up in the next week, the Raptors may very well find themselves facing that situation.
Plus the foul
No show for Hedo. Again.
Correct me if I’m wrong. Hedo Turkoglu plays Friday night against the Knicks because Bosh was missing. But two days later against the Sixers he decides not to play? Now I’m not on the inside of the team, and I’m no doctor, but from the outside looking in, it raises eyebrows. Enough is enough. You’re paid 11 million dollars a year. Show a little toughness, play through the pain. If you can play Friday, you sure as hell can play Sunday. It’s time to start earning your pay grade.
Zan of the Night
Thadeus Young dropped 32 points, but Jrue Holiday had the dagger. And then another dagger. And another.
Not Zan of the Night
He’s not looking good these days. Definitely discombobulated on offense. The big Italian needs to find his confidence.
***Jeremiah McNama The Zan Tabak Herald