Update: The Raptors will be without forward Hedo Turkoglu tonight. He has an excused absence for personal reasons.
Arrived in Toronto last night in order to stay ahead of the weather, and thus missed last night's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Five wins in a row for the 76ers, which has thrust them back into playoff contention. Right now, the Sixers are 4.5 games behind the Miami Heat. I didn't see last night's game, but judging by the score, the Sixers are continuing their improved defense and offensive efficiency.
After tonight's game against the Raptors, we're going to do a full assessment of the season's first half, what this winning streak means going forward, and what to expect come next week's trading deadline. Tonight's game against the Raptors looks to be the return of Reggie Evans, who Tweeted that he would return from his injury tonight to play against his former team.
After tonight, the Sixers are off for the all-star break and return to game action on Feb. 16. against the Heat. It's not an easy stretch right after the break (Heat, Spurs, at Bulls, at Warriors, at Suns, at Lakers, vs. Magic, at Hawks, vs. Celtics, at Raptors) so tonight's game would be a great win to extend the streak to six and keep their playoff hopes alive. (Although there's some discussion about what a low-seed playoff berth would mean right now.)
Here's a couple of more things:
1.) Allen Iverson, as we know, won't be playing tonight. It'll be his 5th straight game missing for personal reasons related to the sickness of one of his kids. There's a big question mark around Iverson right now regarding when he might return to the team and what they'll do if he does return. Also, will he play in the All-Star game? We're trying to get some answers on all those things.
2.) Today, the USA Men's National Team program named 27 players who've been selected to participate in the 2010-2012 program. Andre Iguodala was one of those players. If you wanted the extended release, including all 27 players named, click here: National Team.
Interesting game tonight here in Toronto.