Toronto Raptors make statement as contenders with win over Philadelphia 76ers

Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors boxes out Mike Scott #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors boxes out Mike Scott #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Playing against each other for the first time since the post-season, the Toronto Raptors reminded the Philadelphia 76ers why they are still contenders.

The Toronto Raptors have had many impressive wins this season but last night against the Philadelphia 76ers, the team made a statement that shouldn’t be ignored.

There has been a lot of doubt as to whether the Raptors would be able to compete for another NBA title and while they lost past matchups to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics, beating the Sixers should have extra meaning to it.

Holding Joel Embiid to no points is not something that can be brushed aside because many pegged the Sixers to have a better chance to make the NBA Finals over the Raptors including media outlets south of the border.

For those who may have missed it, ESPN put out their NBA power rankings before the game and there was a particular team missing from the list.

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Usually, rankings in November shouldn’t mean a lot considering how early it is in the season but there were a lot of Raptors fans who believe the team is being disrespected. This is a team that is 12-4 and has been missing Kyle Lowry and Serge and Ibaka for a good chunk of games.

There aren’t many teams that can continue to do what the Raptors are especially with the way the team has integrated players who may not have been given the opportunities. One thing you can take away so far from this team is how dominant they have played defensively especially against superstar and elite players.

Of course, the Raptors players aren’t too concerned about what other people are saying about them because their play on the court and position in the standings is doing all the talking for them.

It was also poetic justice to see Stephen A. Smith lose his mind at the fact that Embiid had no points with Marc Gasol guarding him.

This shouldn’t be anything new for Raptors fans, people underestimated them last year when they had Kawhi Leonard on the team and even after winning the title. So instead of worrying about what other people think, let’s be thankful for how the team continues to perform.

Beating a team that is seen as a contender in the East shouldn’t be taken too lightly and they have a stretch of games coming up against Utah, Miami, Houston and Philly again. That’s a point in the season where they can really make a statement even though most of us are convinced they don’t need to prove anything at this point.

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What are your thoughts on the Raptors beating the Sixers? Are they being disrespected this season? Let us know in the comments below.