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Preview - Philadelphia 76ers @ Utah Jazz

The 76ers are 7 for their last 10 and 13-6 since February.  They've beaten up on the bottom of the league for the most part but got an impressive win at home against the Celtics on Friday.  They have a similar record to the Jazz but both teams are trending in opposite directions.

Over the past 10 games, Andre Iguodala has been heating up.  He's shooting a season-high 47% from the field and 44% from the arc.  Where he's been dangerous though on offense is in distributing the ball.  His career average for assists per game is 4.8 APG.  He's averaging a career-high 6.4 APG and has 7.8 APG over the past 10 games.  He's not getting to the free-throw line as much though this season.  That could be that he's looking to dish a bit more rather than finish.

What's most surprising about this Sixers team is that the offensive load is pretty balanced.  They have six players that average double-digits with Elton Brand leading the way at 15 PPG.  They're ranked just a little below the league average when it comes to offensive efficiency though.

On defense, they're a top-10 team.  They limit teams to a low shooting percentage in addition to having a good defensive rebounding percentage.  That means the Jazz could get a lot of one and done looks tonight.

This will be another tough game for the Jazz.  I don't think the mystique of the ESA has been broken and teams are no longer intimidated when coming to the SLC.  That's no indictment of the crowd, but once teams start winning here, other teams coming in know they can pick up a win.  Hopefully we'll see that get built back up soon.

It gets no easier with all of the injuries the Jazz are having right now.  The Jazz are likely going to be without Millsap again tonight.  However, we will see Derrick Favors tonight instead of Jeremy Evans.  I love Evans, but I'm glad to see this move.  It makes sense going forward for the franchise and it makes sense with the Elton Brand match-up.  There's also a chance that Bell doesn't go and in that case CJ Miles will get the start.  So that would give us a starting lineup of Harris, Miles, AK, Favors, and Jefferson.  Miles, AK, and Favors should be solid defensively.  We'd also get to see how inserting Miles in place of Bell would do for the opponents' three-point percentage.

If you're looking for a relatively unknown player to have a big night against the Jazz, look at Thadeus Young.  He's another that's been hot over the past 10 games shooting 56% from the field.  He's also capable of putting up 25+.  He only went 1-5 in the first game between these two teams earlier for 2 points, but could go off tonight.