PHILADELPHIA—There may be help on the horizon for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Mike Scott, the veteran forward who missed the first two games of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal with Toronto because of a foot injury, practised here Wednesday and could return for Thursday’s Game 3.
Scott would be a key addition for the Sixers because of his ability to stretch defences and hit three-pointers and for his defence against the likes of Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol.
Siakam has dominated at times on offence and draws Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid away from the basket when Embiid guards him; Scott is big enough and quick enough to present a more difficult matchup for Siakam.
“(The foot) feels good,” Scott told reporters Wednesday. “We’ll see about playing, but it feels better each day. I’ll continue to get treatments and continue to work out. It feels better though.”
Meanwhile, former Raptor and Sixers backup Greg Monroe went through practice on Wednesday after turning an ankle and missing the end of Monday’s Game 2.
STAR TURNS: Norm Powell looks around the court at times when he’s playing for the Raptors in these NBA playoffs and sees some unfamiliar faces on his team.
And it’s taking some getting used to.
“The second unit, throughout the year, was all playing off each other and getting pretty good flow and pace,” Powell said Wednesday. “Got pretty good chemistry with the guys coming off the bench with that second unit.”
Now, with rotations shortened and starters playing longer minutes, backups like Powell, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka are in different circumstances, playing with guys like Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.
“It’s a little different for us, because the majority of the plays, the majority of the ball is going to be in those guys’ hands, so it’s just about trying to find little cracks in the offence where you can make an impact and fill it out and be able to make a play or two,” Powell said.
QUICK THINKING: The Raptors are not known as one of the top offensive rebounding teams in the NBA. All things being equal, they’d rather get back on defence.
But it’s not a hard and fast rule and they had as many offensive boards in Game 2 as the Sixers did.
“I’ll tell you how we do it: We tell ’em to make a decision,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Neither one’s wrong. If you think you’ve got a really good chance to get the offensive rebound, then roll. If you don’t, then roll the other way. But do both of those things really quickly, the decision part, and then assertively go either direction.”
Doug Smith is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @smithraps