Sixers look to find a groove against the upstart Utah Jazz

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid react during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

The Philadelphia 76ers were able to put things together and stave off a 2-0 home-and-home bout against the Atlanta Hawks. Now, the Sixers will look to win two games in a row for just the second time this season against a feisty Utah Jazz squad that currently sits atop the Western Conference.

Game Info for Sixers/Jazz

When: Sunday, November 13, 2022

Tipoff: 7:30 pm EST

Where: Philadelphia, PA | Wells Fargo Center

How to watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Game Preview for Sixers/Jazz

The Sixers still have plenty of issues to work out within the team — lack of effort, defensive inattention, Tyrese Maxey’s role, and how Joel Embiid and James Harden can both dominate together are chief among them — but Embiid has certainly turned his season around after a slow early start.

After scoring 42 to down the Hawks last night, he’s brought his averages up to 33.7 points, 11 rebounds, and 4.3 assists on 48 percent shooting in the games that Harden has been sidelined with his right foot strain. While he and the Beard need time to build chemistry with both of them on the court together, it’s encouraging how Embiid has stepped up in Harden’s absence in efforts to keep the team above water.

Hopefully, he has another massive night in store as the Sixers take on the Jazz at home tonight. Utah has been surprising opponents with their intelligent ball movement, parade of strong contributions from lesser players in their perfect role, and timely anticipatory defense despite their obvious lack of star power. Basically, they’ve been the anti-Sixers so far this season.

Embiid should be able to dominate against a frontline that features Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, and Jarred Vanderbilt. While that trio has been effective on defense thus far, the former two aren’t known for being post-stoppers, and Vando simply doesn’t have the size or brute strength to slow down Embiid one-on-one.

Tonight’s matchup offers up a few different opportunities for the Sixers to take advantage of. Firstly, if they can string together another win on this back-to-back, they’ll have four days off before entering an easier stretch of games in which they’ll play the Orlando Magic twice, the flailing Minnesota Timberwolves, and the tanking Charlotte Hornets within six games. A dub against the Jazz tonight could mark a significant stretch for Philly to start to turn things around, even sans Harden.

Secondly, if this team were to make any roster changes still, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey will have a great first-hand look at some potential top targets. Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley, and Kelly Olynyk — among others — all could bring some much-needed juice to this squad that’s failed to inspire confidence so far.