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Sixers vs. Raptors, With Only One Mention of the Increasingly Depressing Andrew Bynum (This One)

Nov 20, 2012, 6:11 PM EDT

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The Sixers were so close to getting to play two of the East’s worst
teams in consecutive nights when both teams would be missing their star
point guards and arguable franchise players. Regrettably (for us,
anyway), it now sounds like Kyle Lowry will be returning to action for
the Toronto Raptors after missing a couple weeks of game action with a
sprained ankle—though he will only come off the bench, behind current
starter Jose Calderon. (No report yet about Kyrie Irving making an
unexpected comeback for the Cavs after fracturing his finger.)

Regardless, the Sixers should—should,
not definitely will—be able to take care of business tonight against
the 3-7 Toronto Raptors in the last night of their five-game homestand.
The Ballers dispatched the Raptors with relative ease in their first
meeting of the year, back in Canada a week-and-a-half ago, holding
Toronto to just seven points in the game’s second quarter, building a
lead they would not relinquish. Of course, that meeting was without
Lowry, who was easily the Raps’ best player in the three-and-a-half
games he played for Toronto before going down with injury, averaging
about a 20-6-6 on over 50% shooting. He will no doubt cause problems for
Philly tonight if he’s healthy and in full effect.

Though the
Sixers’ win against the Cavs on Sunday was far from pretty, it was not
without its positives. Jrue Holiday had a relatively slow (though still
effective) night on offense, but was dominant on the other end, staying
glued to the Cavs’ Irving and refusing to let the sophomore sensation
burn him for easy layups—no small feat considering the quickness and
craftiness of the future All-Star—holding him to just a 14 and 4 on the
night, both significantly below Kyrie’s seasonal averages. Nick Young
was also excellent, hitting five out of six for 13 points before leaving
the game for dizziness, easily his most (only) efficient shooting night
on the season.

The story of the game, however, was Evan Turner.
With 19 points (on 8-12 shooting, raising his FG% on the season to over
40% for the first time), nine dimes and six rebounds, Evan had a
breakout game on offense, and paired it with solid, smart defense on the
other end. Games like this remind Sixer fans of just how much friggin’ easier
it is to win when the Extraterrestrial is playing well, though it’s
still something he’s a long way from proving the ability to do on a
consistent basis—our history with ET shows that after two quality games
in a row, Turner’s likely to be a no-show tonight in Toronto. But you
never know—every good game is another possibility for a legitimate
turn-the-corner moment. Hope springs eternal.

7:00 tip from the
WFC. A win tonight and the Sixers will have gone 3-2 on their five-game
homer—not quite the result we’d hoped for with five winnable games, but
enough to consider the homestand redeemed after dropping the first two
games. Adam Aron still loves this team, regardless.