Sixers Look to Battle Mitchell & the Utah Jazz

Tobias Harris
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 01: Philadelphia 76ers Forward Tobias Harris (12) looks on during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers (14-11) are looking to extend their three-game winning streak against the Utah Jazz (17-7) Thursday night at The Wells Fargo Center. After narrowly winning their last three games on the road, the Sixers are looking to get a home win under their belt.

Injury Report

Ben Simmons: Out (Personal)

Grant Riller: Out (Meniscus)

Tyrese Maxey Maxey returned last night against the Charlotte Hornets after a game out due to a non-covid related illness. Maxey had a quiet game of 6 points during their win against the Charlotte Hornets.

Still no word on whether Sixers fans will ever get to see #25 step back on the court in the red, white, and blue. Simmons has been spotted at multiple facilities in the Philadelphia area and even in Wells Fargo Center but has still not suited up for a game. Simmons has also accrued over $6 million in fines for his absences. Only time, or a trade, will tell when Simmons will play again.

Last Matchup

Currently, the Utah Jazz are sitting pretty as the 3rd seed atop the Western Conference with their duo of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell playing some of their best basketball. Mitchell, averaging 24.2 PPG garnering him this past week’s Western Conference Player of the week.

The Sixers’ last meeting with the Jazz was an ugly one. The Jazz handed the Sixers their worst loss this year last month; a staggering 120-85 defeat in Utah. To be fair, this matchup was in the midst of the Sixers Covid bout, with many of their key assets sidelined due to health and safety protocols.

In their last meeting, the Sixers did not have a prayer answered, shooting 36.7% from the floor and 20.7% from beyond the arc while being out-rebounded 56-42. Having their team fully back together can help tip the scales for the Sixers this time around, as well as playing on the home front.

In their last matchup, Bojan Bogdanovic lit up the wounded Sixers, posting up 27 points and going an impressive 5-7 from beyond the arc. The Sixers were without some of their strongest defensive players allowing Bogdanovic to slip through the cracks. It would be wise for Doc to allow Thybulle to bump up his minutes to utilize his defensive prowess in this matchup.

Both teams are coming off back-to-back games, both traveling after their games Wednesday night, so expect fatigue from both sides.

Building Momentum

The Sixers sit at 6th place in the East at the moment, and with a tough stretch ahead of them, every win is crucial for them to climb back to the top. The Sixers were on an absolute roll before being struck with Covid. With many still suffering from its effects, they are still managing to get back to 100 percent.

A win against a strong team like the Jazz would only add to the momentum the Sixers have been trying to build since coming back from Covid.

The Sixers take on the Jazz Thursday night at 7:00 pm in Philadelphia.