Jazz Dominate Sixers, Win by 22

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers reacts to a play against New Orleans Pelicans during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers faced off against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz on Thursday at home after going 3-1 on their four-game road trip. The Jazz defeated the Sixers 118-96 in a completely disappointing performance.

After a great first quarter offensively, the Sixers struggled to get any offense going. They shot 18 percent from long range, while the Jazz were 37.5 percent. The Sixers were led by Joel Embiid (19 points and 9 rebounds), while the Jazz were led by Donovan Mitchell (22 points and 6 assists). Take a look at three observations from tonight’s game:

Joel Embiid

Early on, Joel Embiid continued his impressive play from the final three games on the road. He tallied 11 points in the first quarter, dominating the Jazz defense. He was aggressive early on and went right at two of his rivals, Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside. After the first quarter, he cooled down considerably. He also sustained an abdominal injury that took him out of the game for a while. Let’s hope that it’s nothing serious that could keep Embiid out long term.

Bad Defense

The Defense was optional for both teams in the first quarter. As play went on in the first half, some of the Sixers’ defense issues reared their ugly head again. The Sixers haven’t been good on the glass this season and give up way too many offensive rebounds. The Jazz had 16 offensive rebounds, and there was a sequence in the first half where Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley got back-to-back offensive rebounds. The Jazz outrebounded the Sixers by 18 overall, showing much more effort in that department.

The Sixers played drop coverage while defending the pick and roll, which allowed Mitchell and company to get wide-open looks from three-point range. When the Sixers finally made an adjustment and trap, it led to a missed shot, but since Embiid was trapping, it allowed the Jazz to get an offensive rebound. Some nights, this team looks like one of the league’s worst defenses. Doc Rivers needs to make some adjustments because this team needs to hang its hat on the defensive end to create offensive opportunities.

Where’s The Home Court Advantage?

For the last few seasons, the Wells Fargo Center has been a true homecourt advantage for this team, but this year this team seems to struggle at home. It felt like wins were guaranteed at home, but this year the team is just 5-6 this year in Philly. The crowd brings the energy, and the team needs to match that energy. Fans can only hope that the team starts stringing together more wins at home where historically they have been dominant. 

The Sixers return to action against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors Saturday in primetime at 8:30PM on ABC.