The Philadelphia 76ers are in Salt Lake City tonight to take on the Utah Jazz and will be trying, desperately, to put an end to their recent four-game losing streak. The Jazz have lost two in a row and will be looking to get back in the win column while keeping the Sixers falling.
Sixers vs Jazz game information
Who: Philadelphia 76ers (29-17) at Utah Jazz (24-25)
When: 10:00 pm EST
Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City UT
Watch: NBC Philadelphia, TNT, HBO MAX
Sixers vs Jazz Betting info
Spread: Sixers +4.5 | Jazz -4.5
Moneyline: Sixers +154 | Jazz -185
Total: Under/Over 238
Latest on the SIxers
The Sixers have been destroyed by injuries over the past month, most notably Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. In addition to their two stars missing time, the Sixers have been without Robert Covington for over a month, DeAnthony Melton has missed eight of the last ten games, while Marcus Morris Sr., Tobias Harris, Nico Batum, and Mo Bamba have also all missed time.
The current version of the Sixers is a lottery team that won’t make the playoffs if they can’t get healthy. Reigning MVP, Joel Embiid, has battled ankle and knee issues for over a month now and a “ducking” narrative for him missing the Nuggets game in Denver, seems to be the reason that he played in Golden State, on a bad leg that only got worse when he had Jonathan Kuminga land on it while fighting for a loose ball.
Having Embiid on the floor at all has been a huge mistake for the team this season.. When Embiid is healthy, he’s the best player in the NBA and has dominated anyone put in front of him. He’s been better than any of the past three seasons where he’s finished as the runner-up or the winner in the MVP race.
The Sixers have to evaluate what they want to do, play Embiid until he’s completely destroyed and gone for the season or maybe longer, or, sit Embiid, allow him to get completely healthy, and hope that the rest of the team can get the Sixers into the playoffs.
Latest on the Jazz
The Jazz don’t have a bad team, they’ve just not been able to put anything together on the court, consistently. They win a couple of games and then fall apart. They’ve been 5-5 over the last ten games and 2-3 over their last five. The Jazz are 16th in the league in offensive rating at 115.3 but they’re defensive rating of 117.9 is only good for 24th in the league.
With players like Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Colin Sexton, and John Collins the Jazz have guys that can put points on the board. Markkanen is leading the team with 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game which isn’t a lot if you’re the “star” of the team.
The rest of the team features five more players averaging over 10 points per game but none more than the 17.7 points by Jordan Clarkso. They’re a mid-level team that’s performing just as they should. With the trade deadline looming, Markkanen has had his name mentioned as one of the top targets but it doesn’t look like the Jazz are interested in moving him.
The Jazz are loaded with draft picks for the future from the trades that sent Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell to the Timberwolves and Cavaliers but the bulk of those picks don’t start coming for another couple of years. If the Jazz were smart, they’d deal away players like Markkanen and Clarkson and maybe guard Jalen Horton-Tucker, while they have some value and look to build the team for the future while not wasting the players and their value that they currently have.
What to watch for
Tonight’s game will be a great one for the Sixers fans on the East coast that have insomnia. With the Sixers missing Embiid and possibly Maxey again, the team will be trying it’s hardest not to put their fifth straight loss on the board. Still missing Covington and Melton isn’t helping and with Harris and Batum showing up on the injury report as well, the Sixers will be putting their best reserves to work.
That strategy hasn’t worked out well over the past week.
Getting quality minutes from players like KJ Martin and Jaden Springer is a really good thing for the team, if they can get healthy and make it to the playoffs, having the younger players get good minutes and experience can only help the team as they get further along in the year. Players like Kelly Oubre Jr. and Pat Beverley are going to have to show up tonight if the Sixers are going to have a chance at winning. It’s going to be a long night in Salt Lake City.
Sixers vs Jazz Prediction
Sixers 115 – Jazz 124
AP Photo/Darron Cummings