NBA Regular Season: Utah Jazz (4-5) @ Philadelphia 76ers (4-4) -- Game Preview

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Game #10 • Wells Fargo Center • Philadelphia, PA • November 16, 2012 • 5:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM

NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 10:

Utah Jazz (4-5) @ Philadelphia 76ers (4-4)

#UTAatPHI Game Stream -- Liberty Ballers (SB Nation Blog) -- Jazz vs 76ers coverage

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The Basics:

This is game 3 of 4 of our road trip. Philly is in game 3 of their 5 game long home stand. The Sixers have won games against the Denver Nuggets (a team we lost to), the Boston Celtics (in Boston) (another team we lost to), the New Orleans Hornets (in New Orleans) (another team we lost to), and the Toronto Raptors (in Toronto) (a team we beat). They've also lost to the New York Knicks twice, the Milwaukee Bucks once, and two nights ago at home to the Detroit Pistons. They are looking for their first win of this home stand right now, and their first home win since opening night.

Philly made a lot of changes this off-seas. Among some of the losses, Philly lost Lou Williams (and Jodie Meeks) to free agency; traded away Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless, and Nikola Vucevic; and waived Elton Brand. They did bring back a TON of players, some of them are: Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright, Nick Young, Mikki Moore, and first round draft pick Arnett Moultire (he's played more minutes this season than Jeremy Evans has). They also resigned Spencer Hawes.

The Sixers aren't a bad team, after all, they have as many wins as we do. And they've beaten teams we have lost to. It's going to be a good game . . . even if they aren't super deep in the paint.

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History:

Last season these two teams played twice, and split the season series. On December 30th last year the Jazz got their first win of the season (102-99). When they traveled East to play the Sixers on March 9th the Jazz lost (104-91). In that series the Jazz were incapable of stopping Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, or Louis Williams. This season one of those guys is in Denver, and the other in Atlanta. So . . . that's good for us.

Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson do not have great games against Philly; but Gordon Hayward seems to. We're going to need him tonight.

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The Game:

The Jazz lost to the Boston Celtics two nights ago, but have the first game of a back to back set tonight in Philly. The next game is against the Washington Wizards, and that's not a game that's big enough for our team to be looking forward to. Or at least, I hope not. If we're a playoff team we can't be circling the Wizards games on the calendar and saying "yeah, this is a big game". Tonight, on the other hand, is a big game. The Jazz can ensure a winning record on this road trip with a win tonight and make a 'statement' that says something a little more forcefully than "We can hang with the old Celtics, and take the Raptors in triple overtime."

Of course, Andrew Bynum is not going to be playing in this game. But we need every big of help we can get. And we're getting some other help tonight because Kwame Brown is going to play tonight (he was a game time decision against the Detroit Pistons two nights ago and played).

We're still going to be without Earl Watson, but he's healthy now. He's just going to sit this one out.

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Word from the Badguys:

I really don't know any Philly fans. Years ago I was writing a fiction story about Charles Barkley's rookie season. That's probably why. This is a lie. No, not the Barkley story. That's sadly the truth. The lie is about Philly fans. I know a bunch of great Philly fans -- I've just been swamped at work and I've not had time to do these for the last few games. It's an 82 game season though . . . hang tight, guys.

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X-Factors:

Blocks, steals, and deflections . . . in a word . . . turnovers. (In two words, uh, turn overs). Philly is filled with long armed rangey guys. They aren't super big like Dikembe Mutombo -- but everyone seems to be quick and capable on defense. They are #7th in the NBA right now and average 9.0 steals a game, and their opponent averages 17.0 turn overs a game. They don't block a lot of shots. We do. We're #2nd best in the league, sending back 8.0 shots a game. The bad news is that we're turning the ball over 15.6 times a game. That's bad enough to be #27 in the league at taking care of the ball.

If we're sloppy they'll get out and run. If we take care of the ball, their defense is still going to be talented enough to handle us (#5th best in opponents PPG, #3 best in defensive rating). They do suck at scoring though . . .

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As an aside:

I think Jerry Sloan would have loved to have had the athletes that both of these teams have, at any time of his career. Well, I'm clearly not talking about Kwame Brown. Ha ha ha.

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Fearless Prediction:

Philly wanting revenge for losing to Detroit, and looking for a home win? The Jazz hungry after dropping a winnable statement game? Both teams want this one. Who wins? The Jazz win. Why? Because we're too big for them.

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