The Toronto Raptors continue to trend downwards with their third straight loss. The 110-104 loss coming against their division rivals the Philadelphia 76ers. The last time the Raptors lost three in a row was during November of last season. The Raptors now find themselves in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with their 15-7 record. Despite their positive record Toronto has a lackluster 3-7 record against teams with a winning record on the season. These matches against legitimate playoff contenders are showcasing the weaknesses of this Raptors team.

Raptors Defence Exploited

Rookie Matisse Thybulle after hitting one of his 5 threes

Philadelphia outscored the Raptors in the first three quarters by 18, giving them enough of a cushion for the Raptors’ late charge in the fourth quarter. Ben Simmons found himself flirting with a near triple double, contributing 16 points, snatching 11 rebounds and dishing out 9 dimes in the contest. Philadelphia shooting 44% from three was a large factor in this. The spacing they found from their shooters allowed Simmons to slash through the zone defence that the Raptors utilized. Matisse Thybulle was a significant factor in the open floor as he drilled 5 threes for a career-high 20 points. Tobias Harris also poured in a game-high 26 points. Harris was effective from a variety of areas offensively, scoring in transition, from beyond the arc as well as in the paint.

Kyle Lowry‘s 26 points is his highest mark since his return from injury. He also fought for 6 rebounds while dishing out 5 assists. OG Anunoby produced a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Pascal Siakam had his third consecutive uninspired performance as he contributed just 16 points on 39% (7/18) shooting.

The Chef’s Not Cooking

Serge Ibaka had an inefficient performance as his 12 points came at the cost of 5/15 (33%) shooting. Since his return Ibaka is shooting a mediocre 38% (18/47), far below his season average of 47%. The Raptors’ big man has been rolling to the rim significantly less since his return to the court. Toronto is at his best with Ibaka utilizing his strength and rebounding prowess to be a force down low. Coach Nick Nurse has to find a way to incorporate Serge into the offence once again, as utilizing him primarily as a floor spacer is a detriment to the team.

Embiid’s Kryptonite

Marc Gasol and The Raptors contained Joel Embiid once again, holding the All-NBA centre to 10 points. This is his second lowest point total of the season besides his 0 point performance in Toronto. Embiid’s 6 assists in the contest is a season-high, as he was able to find open shooters and exploit the flaws in the Raptors’ defence.

Fred VanVleet left the game early with a right-knee contusion, an injury he had during the Raptors’ game against the Rockets. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

The Raptors will finish their short road trip in Chicago where they’ll take on a dysfunctional Bulls team. Hopefully Toronto can crawl back into the win column against a team that has struggled all season. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8:00 PM/EST to enjoy the game.