Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors impressive win over the 76ers

Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Marc Gasol (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors put the clamps on Joel Embiid, holding him scoreless as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 101-96 on Monday night. What did we learn from the victory?

The Toronto Raptors picked up an impressive victory over the Philadephia 76ers in a game that definitely had a playoff-like atmosphere. In the first matchup of the 2019-20 season between the two teams, both came out swinging, with the Sixers racking up 34 points in the first quarter.

The Sixers’ great offense in the opening frame was led by Ben Simmons‘ masterful passing skills, as he racked up six assists and helped them to 5-for-9 shooting performance from the 3-point line. But the Raptors’ defense settled in quickly, holding the Sixers to 15 points on 21.7-percent shooting in the second quarter as Joel Embiid (0-for-11 from the field) continued to struggle mightily when guarded by Marc Gasol.

Gasol’s excellent defense was obviously the story of the game but it overshadowed yet another ridiculous efficient playmaking night from the Spanish big man. He finished Monday night with nine assists and one turnover, continuing to showcase how to be effective on offense even when your shot is nowhere near falling (1-for-8 from the field).

The Sixers handled the Raptors aggressive double-teaming of Embiid fairly well, committing to driving, kicking, and rotating the ball around the perimeter to the tune of a 15-for-40 (37.5-percent) shooting performance from the 3-point line. But a defense has to give something up to take something away.

Nurse’s defensive strategy was meant to force Philadelphia into looking for 3s over paint points and that is exactly what they did. The Raptors finished with a 44-28 advantage in points in the paint, dictating exactly how and where they got their points.

The Toronto Raptors want to be competitive and again make the NBA Finals following their amazing 2019 NBA Championship victory, which left many pundits wondering if they were setting their sights too high. 16 games into the 2019-20 season and no one is doubting the ability of the Raptors to again challenge for the Eastern Conference crown. Big-time wins like Monday’s takedown of the Philadelphia 76ers are further proof of the Raptors legitimacy.

What did we learn from the Raptors 12th win of the season?