3-Dei: How the Sixers can beat the Raptors

3-Dei: How the Sixers can beat the Raptors
January 24, 2014, 11:15 am
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DeMar DeRozan has scored a combined 60 points in two wins vs. the Sixers this season. (USA Today Images)

The Raptors (21-20) come to town one game over .500 and leading the Atlantic Division. They have twice beaten the Sixers this season and tonight will go for their third win (see game notes).

Here's how I see the game in 3-Dei:

1. Three can't be
The Raptors have made a combined 24 three-pointers in the first two meetings against the Sixers this season at a 44 percent clip. Toronto averages 8.1 made threes per game while shooting 35.9 percent from beyond the arc -- 15th in the league.

The Sixers can't to let Toronto shoot better than that from long distance, but that will require them buckling down. Their opponents' three-point shooting percentage (36.9) is the sixth-highest in the NBA.

2. Don't give it away
The Sixers have tallied 39 assists in two meetings against the Raptors but also committed 37 turnovers. The Sixers average an NBA-high 17.2 turnovers per game and have a league-worst 1.31 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The good news is that they are capable of better. In their 110-106 win against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Sixers had 28 assists against only 14 turnovers.

3. Diminish DeMar DeRozan
The Raptors' leading scorer may be the least-known true scorer in the NBA. DeMar DeRozan averages 21.8 points, 11th-best in the NBA.

And DeRozan is aggressive -- he gets to the foul line for 6.8 free throws per game, 10th-most in the league. DeRozan has scored a combined 60 points against the Sixers this season and is coming off a season-high 40 points two days ago in a win over the Mavericks.