A slew of new faces will try to help the Toronto Raptors turn
around a sluggish stretch.
The Philadelphia 76ers would like to begin altering one of their
own, and solving their turnover issues could help.
The Raptors are expected to have four new additions available
Friday night when they attempt to win for the second time in eight
tries against the 76ers.
Toronto (7-13) may be one game back of Boston for the Atlantic
Division lead, but the team made a major move Monday with the
future in mind.
In a deal that provided some financial flexibility following
this season, the Raptors sent Rudy Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy
to Sacramento in exchange for guard Greivis Vasquez and forwards
Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.
The Raptors finally have everyone available.
“We got a full house,” said coach Dwane Casey, who was limited
to 10 players in Tuesday’s 116-103 loss to San Antonio that put
Toronto on the cusp of its first five-game home losing streak since
Jan. 12-28, 2011.
Vasquez and Salmons may find themselves in much more prominent
roles after averaging 9.8 and 5.8 points with the Kings this
Casey, though, thinks their contributions will go beyond
“Where he helps, and also where John helps, is giving us another
ball handler,” he said. “It gives us another ball handler who can
run pick and rolls, that can handle the basketball. Our transition
offense should be a little bit better, as far as the ball getting
up the floor. Both John and he are good pick-and-roll defenders, so
it helps us a lot of ways.”
Vasquez certainly made a key impact in his last meeting with the
Sixers on Jan. 15, scoring 23 points while dishing out nine assists
in a 111-99 win with New Orleans.
Despite the acquisitions, guard DeMar DeRozan should continue to
be the driving force offensively. He leads the team with a
career-high 21.5 points per game and is scoring 24.4 over the past
seven at home. However, Toronto has won once in that stretch.
DeRozan had 33 points in a 108-98 victory in Philadelphia on
The Sixers (7-16) committed 20 turnovers in that meeting, and
their average of 18.0 is among the worst in the NBA. They totaled a
season high-tying 26 turnovers in Wednesday’s 106-99 loss at
Minnesota, leaving coach Brett Brown searching for answers.
“There’s a trend in what we do in pace, outlets or kick-aheads
or skip passes,” Brown said. “There was a trend in trying to get
the ball to the post and how we reacted to that. Then there was a
trend in playing to the crowd. We went through those areas with the
team to try to identify why and how those turnovers happened.”
Forward Evan Turner, who leads the Sixers with 20.3 points per
game, had a career-high nine turnovers while scoring 13. He is
averaging 15.0 points and shooting 39.1 percent during a four-game
losing streak for Philadelphia, which has dropped 16 of 20 since
Spencer Hawes, who scored 20 on Wednesday, had a season-best 28
points and 10 rebounds while shooting 10 of 13 last month against