The Philadelphia 76ers play two of the lesser teams in the Eastern Conference this week, looking for repeat performances of wins over the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the year.
The Philadelphia 76ers will play a back-to-back against the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday and Wednesday nights, giving them an opportunity to stay above .500 with a pair of games against squads they've already beaten
It's been a topsy-turvy season for the Sixers, but they've managed to stay afloat: a win, then two losses, then three wins, then two losses, now two wins again. The team lacks a scoring identity or interior presence Andrew Bynum, but the defense has held strong: Philadelphia's fourth-best defensive efficiency in the league makes up for its fourth-worst offensive efficiency in the league, and has them sitting at 6-4 on the season.
Tuesday night, Philadelphia hosts the 3-7 Raptors, having won at Toronto on Nov. 10. That game, the bench pounced with Nick Young scoring 16 points and Spencer Hawes recording a double-double. The Sixers' frontcourt has struggled against opposing bigs, but rookie Jonas Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani, who has always favored the outside game more than banging in the post, are an all right matchup for Lavoy Allen and Hawes.
Wednesday night the Sixers head to Cleveland after beating the 2-8 Cavs on Sunday. Strong defense from Philadelphia's guards shut down Cleveland's talented pair of young backcourt players, holding Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to a combined 14 points on 27 shots and forcing them into eight turnovers. Like most teams, Cleveland beat Philadelphia in the rebounding battle -- it had 18 offensive boards, eight by Tristan Thompson -- but Jrue Holiday, who has really come into his own this year, thrived with 19 points and nine assists.
Here's a look at the pair of games for the 76ers:
Tuesday: vs. Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Philly
Wednesday: @ Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Philly