The Sixers managed to win their 10th game in a row at home tonight against the Utah Jazz. With this win, the Sixers finish the two-game season series with a split. The game was a mix of good, bad, and ugly but the Sixers managed to get the win which is what matters most.
The Sixers began the game in dominating fashion. Their defense was stifling and their shots were falling. The team as a unit looked like what we expected at the beginning of the season minus Josh Richardson of course. Defensively the team was able to slow down the offense of the Jazz and disrupt their flow altogether. The Jazz shot 22.7% from three compared to the Sixers 50% which was one of the key deciding factors. Today’s NBA is built around the three, making threes and defend them is the name of the game now.
Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybule both had fantastic performances with seven steals between them. Simmons, who was also two rebounds and an assist away from a triple-double, also played stellar defense on Donovan Mitchell who did have 18 points but on 26% shooting. Thybulle also thrived making all three of his attempts from deep. Tobias Harris led all Sixers in points with 26, he was able to hit shots when it mattered most. It wasn’t the most efficient night for him but he got the job done.
The Sixers were running away with the game at the half up by 18 points. The Jazz would catch their second wind soon though as a comeback was in the works.
The Sixers were up by 18 at halftime, everyone was feeling good and the game looked like it was about over. Give Credit to Quin Snyder because he rallied his team and was able to strategically select his lineup against the Sixers’ weakness. Snyder brought in George Niang who proceeded to torch Mike Scott. Scott was unable to account for Niang’s quickness and couldn’t find a way to stop him.
Snyder also boosted Joe Ingles’ minutes which led to an Australian Boil-over between Ingles and Ben Simmons. Simmons, known to be aggressive, found that Ingles knew just how to take advantage of him defensively. Taking a stiff charge and forcing several Sixers into foul trouble, Ingles did his job and scored some points in the process.
The Sixers may have won and they may have shot 50% from three but they only shot 40.7% from the floor. They also shot 69.7% from the free-throw line which is certainly a disappointment. If the threes are falling then that’s great, but if they’re not the Sixers will obviously struggle to win games. Tobias Harris who led all Sixers shot 10-23 from the floor and 1-5 from three, not exactly inspiring. In addition, the bench (minus Thybulle) struggled to shoot. The bench (again, minus Thybulle) shot 4-21 for a stunning 19%. The performance was good enough to win but it may not be in the future.
The Sixers also allowed the Jazz to get back into a game that at one point was a blowout. Struggling to defend, struggling to shoot, the Sixers didn’t help themselves either with bad fouls and lackadaisical effort. Coach Brown had issues managing his team efficiently and allowed mistakes that influenced the game in the later quarters. One such mistake was leaving Joel Embiid on the court during the final minutes of the first half when up by over 15. Embiid committed his third foul and it affected his aggressiveness for the rest of the game.
Learn and Move on
The Sixers did not have their best game of the season, but they did play well enough to move to 15-6. Also, the Sixers are 10-0 at home which is something to be praised. Mistakes and all, the Sixers now enter a soft two-game portion of their schedule where they will travel to Washington to face the Wizards and then come back home to face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third time this season. If the Sixers can win both they will be right back in the race for a top-three seed.
The Sixers will try to pick up the first game on Thursday at Washington at 7:00 PM EST. Coverage starts at 6:30 and you can watch on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live at 97.5 FM the Fanatic.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports