Sixers vs Jazz: How to watch, betting preview & predictions

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Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid goes up for a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Utah Jazz are in Philadelphia to take on the 76ers after getting blown out by the Celtics on Friday night, 126-97, while the hometown Sixers are reeling from getting blown out by the visiting Knicks, 128-92. For both teams, on the tail end of back-to-back games, there should be some fatigue, but they’ll both be looking to get in the win column after such a miserable start to the weekend.

Sixers vs Jazz Game Info

Who: Utah Jazz (16-20) at Philadelphia 76ers (23-11)

When: 7:30 pm EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA League Pass, Root Sports Northwest

Sixers vs Knicks betting info

Spread: Sixers -11.5 | Jazz +11.5
Moneyline: Sixers -650 | Jazz +470
Total: Over/Under 238

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Latest on the Sixers

Sixers
New York Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein (55) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The forecast for Philadelphia looked bleak, with snow and rain supposed to blanket the area over the weekend. The Sixers were to be a little bit of sunshine before the bad weather moved in. They failed at that miserably on Friday night, allowing the Knicks to come to town and destroy them by 36 points. Well, Embiid finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, while Maxey had 27 points and 9 assists, you say.

Good point.

Except, Embiid shot 10-23 from the field, and Maxey shot 9-20, including 1-7 on his three-point attempts. Whatever the Sixers were doing through the early part of the season that worked fell apart last night. While you can’t blame just the two stars for the loss, as Embiid and Maxey go, so do the Sixers. As a team, they shot 40.7% from the floor and 26.1% on their three-point attempts. They were outhustled, out-rebounded, and out-shot by the Knicks. So, tonight’s game is pretty important, even in the middle of the season and facing a team that’s ranked 12th in the Western Conference.

This game will be a critical one to see how the team responds to such a poor outing and bad game against the Knicks just one night prior. Can they get it together, physically, to have the energy to run with a Jazz team that will be looking to muster up the same courage? Can they fix their shooting issues, which, aside from Embiid, seem to be plaguing the whole team more often than not of late? It’s going to be a very interesting game and could be a turning point for the Sixers for the season.

Latest on the Jazz

The Jazz are coming off their embarrassing loss on Friday night as the Celtics beat them by 29 points in Boston. With the Jazz not having much to go around as far as “star power,” they do have some or at least a couple of quality players.

The Celtics are just a loaded team that’s currently the best team in the league. So, the Jazz shouldn’t be too upset about getting blown out. But players want to win, and when you lose by almost 30 points, it’s going to be a problem. The Jazz, like the Sixers, will be looking to get things straight and could get moving quickly, trying to keep the Sixers in a poor flow from the night before.

Leading Utah is Lauri Markkanen, the 26-year-old seven-footer who leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 23.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. After Markkanen, the Jazz have Jordan Clarkson, Colin Sexton, John Collins, and Jalen Horton-Tucker, which isn’t a bad group, but they’re not anywhere near a contender in the league.

The team is full of what-ifs, should have, and could haves that don’t add up to much. It’s not their fault, but they’re not going to be happy going into Philadelphia after what happened to them on Friday night.

The Jazz are in the bottom third of the league in both their defensive and offensive rankings, going at a team, the Sixers, who are in the top five in the league in both categories. It doesn’t bode well for the Jazz tonight.

Keys to the game

Maxey sixers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

For the Sixers, it has to be shooting and moving the ball around while getting a solid defensive effort from everyone on the floor. There’s no point in having players like Morris and Springer on the floor because of their defense if neither of them can hit a shot. Tyrese Maxey can’t continue to have games where he’s shooting 14% on his three-point attempts. While the scoring is still there, the team needs him to be more locked in.

The Jazz aren’t a very good team, but they’re also not a very bad team. They’re stuck in limbo as they’re good enough to compete with anyone in the league; they’re just not good enough to beat most of them. The team is going against a very good Sixers team on both sides of the ball, and they’re going to have to contest with a top Eastern Conference team that just got embarrassed at home. The Sixers will want to show the hometown fans that last night wasn’t a fluke. It doesn’t look good for the Jazz.

Prediction

Sixers 127 – Jazz 111