Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers Preview
Early last month in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz faced off against the Philadelphia 76ers and came away with the 106-104 home win, even as Joel Embiid had 27 points and 16 rebounds. Tonight in Philadelphia, Embiid and the 76ers will look to avenge that loss.
The 76ers are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 14-6 record. They are on a bit of a roll as of late, winning their last three games and going 7-3 in their last 10. The Wells Fargo Center has proven to be a true home-court advantage for the 76ers as they are 9-0 at home.
The Jazz are 12-8, good enough for sixth in the Western Conference. They’ll be looking for a win tonight as they are on a one-game skid. They’ve run into some struggles as of late as they are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are also just 4-7 on the road, which does not bode well for them tonight.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Channel: NBA TV
Jazz: No Injuries
76ers: Josh Richardson (D), Kyle O’Quinn (O)
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
After winning three straight games, the Utah Jazz have since gone 1-3 as they have lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, and Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors routed the Jazz 130-110 last night as they were unable to stop Pascal Siakam, who scored 35 points. Eight Raptors players scored in double figures, while the top Jazz scorer, Donovan Mitchell, was limited to just 16 points.
“We were awful. I think the important thing for us is to understand why,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “There were a lot of issues, but our urgency to make certain things important defensively, whether that be an assignment, sprinting back and not jogging back against a team that runs the way they do. There were too many breakdowns and too many possessions where we lacked the urgency we needed.”
After playing last night and going on the road against a team that is perfect on the road, the Jazz will have to be on point defensively, especially with a team like Philadelphia that has firepower at multiple positions.
The few positives for Utah’s loss are that Mike Conley scored 20 points, Mitchell didn’t play a ton of minutes as Snyder played everyone 31 or fewer minutes. Jeff Green was also big off the bench, scoring 19 points.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Like the Jazz, the 76ers’ last loss came against the Raptors last Monday. However, Philadelphia has won their last three against the Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.
The 76ers were tested against Indiana, but the starting five all played well. While Ben Simmons has received some criticism, it was hard to find fault in a 15 point, 13 assist, six rebound night.
“The plays that he can make from an athletic standpoint and the plays he can make from a physical standpoint (late) in the game are just elite,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said of Simmons. “You hear me cheerlead the cause of him being on an NBA All-Defensive team, and it’s examples like that that make it a no-brainer.”
Simmons had a steal late in the game that allowed Philadelphia to secure the win. It was one of 12 steals for the 76ers.
Philadelphia also did well to put the clamps on forward Myles Turner, who managed just three points and three rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Joel Embiid, who draws Rudy Gobert tonight, had 32 points and 11 rebounds in the game, and Tobias Harris was right behind him with 22 points. Embiid, Al Horford and Harris have formed one of the more formidable frontcourts in the league.
Key Player Matchups
Joel Embiid vs. Rudy Gobert
Embiid is an All-Star center, and truth be told, Rudy Gobert deserves to be one regardless of the criticism he received last season. This is an intriguing matchup on paper, but Gobert has long had a reputation for not being mentally strong, and that’s the playground Embiid enjoys playing in. Brett Brown can also throw several looks at Gobert and with all three members of the frontcourt available to shoot from inside and outside, he could look to draw Gobert out of the paint where he can’t defend drives to the rim.
Ben Simmons vs. Mike Conley
This is a big mismatch in size only. Simmons has quite the height disparity over Conley, but don’t count Conley out. Conley doesn’t have to defend too close on the perimeter so that will allow him to back up a bit to defend drives against the rim-running Simmons. But if Simmons is able to get inside, look for the post-up. The Jazz could look to help deep, but Simmons is such a good passer that it makes him even more dangerous to find shooters on the perimeter.
Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell are fantasy studs for tonight’s matchup. Embiid is consistently paying dividends for his fantasy owners. He is available for $10.3k on FanDuel and is projected for 51.5 points. Mitchell is expected to shake off any struggles from last night. He has a $7.8k salary, which should be good enough for 40.44 points.
If you’re looking for a value pickup for tonight’s lineup, Tobias Harris is surprisingly available at $6.6k and has a projection of 34.6 points, giving him one of the best points per $1k values.
Bet on Matchup
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