Toronto Raptors sloppy in loss to Philadelphia 76ers

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01: Kyle Lowry
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01: Kyle Lowry /

The Toronto Raptors came out flat against the Philadelphia 76ers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and paid the price with their second consecutive loss.

No one has a given right to win in the NBA, a lesson which the Toronto Raptors learned the hard way on Monday afternoon. To say they came out flat against the Philadelphia 76ers is putting it mildly.

The Raptors gave up 32 points in the first quarter and at one stage were trailing by 21 points. And even though they staged a furious comeback it was not enough, as they ultimately fell 117-111 to the 76ers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It’s all very well getting up for games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. However, if the Raptors harbour ambitions to be playing deep into the playoffs, they need to be motivated for every team.

We’re not suggesting the 76ers are a terrible team, à la the Orlando Magic or the Atlanta Hawks. Regardless, Philadelphia is the type of team the Toronto Raptors need to be doing better against.

Dwane Casey agreed that the performance was unacceptable. As reported by the Toronto Star‘s Doug Smith, the Raptors’ coach said:

"“I was afraid we were going to come out flat and this team was jacked up. We’ve got to get our motors going no matter who we play, it can’t just be for Cleveland or Golden State. It’s got to be every night and be consistent with that focus and alertness.”"

Best epitomizing the struggles against the 76ers was Kyle Lowry, who had a game to forget in his hometown. He shot just 3-of-16 from the field and finished with 13 points.

In fairness to Lowry, this was his first game back after missing time with a bruised tailbone. As such, it really should have been no surprise he would have been slightly rusty.

Regardless, the three-time All-Star eventually let his frustrations get the better of him. With 6.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, he was tossed from the game along with the 76ers’ Ben Simmons, after the two players clashed at midcourt.

It didn’t get physical, but Lowry has to be more composed, especially when he’s going up against a rookie. Overall, he gave himself a harsh assessment when speaking to the media afterwards, as reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Frank Zicarelli:

"“Terrible. I was terrible. Maybe it’s part of the process. I’ve got to get better, get back in rhythm. It’s only one game, bad shooting game. I’ve got to keep working and get better.”"

Again taking into account this was Lowry’s first action after missing three games, it wasn’t all bad for him. His influence was there for all to see, as the Raptors embarked on their comeback from the 21-point deficit.

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Interestingly, the 31-year-old played more than expected, with 37 minutes of action. However, as Casey explained, the concern was his point guard’s back would tighten up, if he spent too much time on the bench.

DeMar DeRozan attempted to pick up the slack for his struggling teammate, leading the team with 24 points and five assists. However, it wasn’t nearly enough on a day like this and the reality is DeRozan was also below par.

Throw in a Fred VanVleet knee injury and — once again — some terrible officiating and it all added up to a miserable Monday for the Toronto Raptors. Next up are the Detroit Pistons at home on Wednesday night, as they aim to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Next: How a Lowry trade would have changed everything

What was your main takeaway from the loss to the 76ers? Do you see the performance as a one-off, or are you concerned at all? What kind of response are you expecting from the Toronto Raptors, when they face the Pistons on Wednesday night? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.