Things to Watch: Sixers versus Raptors
After a rough showing in Cleveland on Sunday, the Sixers are heading back home. Tuesday night they will be facing off against Philly native Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors. Here are three things to watch heading into the matchup.
Head coaching battle
When looking at these teams on paper, the first thing that sticks out are the head coaches. Doc Rivers and Nick Nurse are looked at as two of the elite-level coaches in today's game. This will be Doc Rivers' biggest head coaching battle as the coach of the Sixers.
Both of these coaches run effective systems on both sides of the ball. It will be fascinating to see how the two coaches counter each other. Although we will not see the type of coaching chess match you see in the playoffs, we should still expect each coach attempt to get the edge on each other.
This game should be a defensive showcase on both sides. After the showing the Sixers put on against the Cavs, they are going to have a tough challenge getting their offense back on track against the Raptors.
Keeping Tobias Harris rolling
One recent development around the Sixers is the improved play of Tobias Harris. His play in both games this weekend were strong all around. The focus now is building on the momentum Harris has going.
Harris' three-point shooting stood out against the Knicks and Cavs. Through those two games, he knocked down six of his 11 attempts from beyond. His scoring has been solid as well, racking up at least 16 points in each contest.
His confidence looks like it is starting to grow, and he has been a quick decision-maker with the ball on offense. Doc Rivers has spoken on multiple occasions that he wants to get Harris back to playing like his old self, and there have been a lot of glimpses of that in the last two games.
Rotation minutes up for grabs
Reports came out Monday night that the Sixers' bench has taken a hit. Furkan Korkmaz will be missing some time with a groin strain. This injury opens up rotation minutes for the rest of the second unit.
One player in particular that should benefit from this is Matisse Thybulle. After a shaky showing on offense in the preseason, Thybulle has been outside of the rotation for the most part. He has only been used as a situational defender, but this creates an opportunity for him.
Thybulle should see most of Korkmaz's minutes, but other players should see a boost in time on the floor as well. Tyrese Maxey is another key player that should see an increase in minutes.
Seeing how these two take advantage of the opportunity is something to watch in the coming weeks. If Thybulle can come in and show any type of consistency on offense at this time, he might be able to increase his role on the team moving forward.