Start time: 8:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Rasual Butler, Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson
Philadelphia: Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes
Toronto: Jerryd Bayless and Linas Kleiza are both day-to-day.
Philadelphia: No injuries to report.
I was confident the Raptors would roll over the Nets last night, so naturally they laid a giant egg at the Air Canada Centre last night. The Sixers are heavily favored in this matchup, so of course… nope, the Raptors will probably lose this one, too.
Already, it’s obvious that the Sixers are the class of the Atlantic Division this season. They’re deep, they’re well-coached, and they have a couple of surprise breakout stars six games into their season. Louis Williams is suddenly playing like a sixth-man-of-the-year candidate in his seventh NBA season, but he’s only 25 years old so it’s not surprising he’d start to peak now. He’s averaging 17.8 points in just 26 minutes per game, and he’s doing that with the best True Shooting Percentage (.590) of his career.
And yet he’s not even the biggest surprise of the Sixers’ season. The emergence of Spencer Hawes as a top-five center so far this season is one of the most inexplicable things I’ve seen in my NBA-watching days. It goes without saying that nobody thought he was capable of playing at an All-Star level — before this season, I didn’t even consider him to be a legitimate starter. Six games in, he’s playing like a turbocharged Andrew Bogut with per-game averages of 13.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 blocks while making 65 percent of his shots. There is absolutely no way he’ll sustain those averages, but since I haven’t watched the Sixers yet this season, he’s my main source of curiosity for this matchup.
No random thoughts today, but here’s another of what I expect will be 20 or 30 brilliant Mr. Show sketches I’ll post this season. It’s “The Pre-Taped Call-In Show”.