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NBA Regular Season: Philadelphia 76ers (27-42) at Utah Jazz (34-36) -- Game Preview

Game #71 • EnergySolutions Arena • Salt Lake City, UT • March 25, 2013 • 7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM and 1600 AM ESPN Deportes


NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 71:

Philadelphia 76ers (27-42) at Utah Jazz (34-36)

Charles Barkley vs. Karl Malone, right? No? Spencer Hawes vs. Al Jefferson? Still good, right?


The Basics:

I really have nothing important to say here. We really need to win this game. The last time we won was 9 days ago, on the 16th when we defeated the Memphis Grizzlies. Since then we've dropped games to the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas mavericks. I know you know this, you guys were all here for it. We've been living this, enduring it. We need a reason to be happy. We need a win. We = the Utah Jazz, and fans alike.

This season really is slipping away and this may be one of the few games left this month we have a reasonable chance of winning authoritatively. We need that one good win to get us right on track. Philly could be the medicine we're missing. They'll be without Andrew Bynum (duh), but also without Jason Richardson, who dropped 20 on us in our first meeting back at the start of the season. So that's good. The other good news is that they ALSO played last night. (We did too) And they will be playing their last game of a four game road trip. They lost the first two to the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets -- and got their requisite win against the Sacramento Kings on the 24th. Tonight should be mop up duty for a good home team against a club that has only 7 road wins in 32 attempts this season.

Of course, no team is going to roll over for us (except maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves who will finish this season with no chance of Kevin Love playing again -- we play them twice in the last month of the season). Philly has had recent wins against the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers -- and the Kings. We've had trouble with all of those teams this year too. Philly just beat all of those teams, and have won 4 of their last 7. It's easy to argue that they're playing better than we are.

Their main guy right now has been Jrue Holiday, but they are getting good work off the bench from Dorrell Wright and Lavoy Allen -- all three had 20 or more points in their last game. Spencer Hawes is an interesting matchup while Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young both continue to improve in their own inconsistent ways. They aren't the best team they can be -- but you still have to go out there and actively BEAT them.

The Doug Collins coached team runs a methodical offense predicated on fundamentals, and they don't pick up the pace much. They actually play slower than our team does. They rarely turn the ball over, and are Top 10 on taking care of the defensive glass. If you beat them (and yes, it's happened 42 times already) it's because you beat them. Not because they beat themselves.

It's a must win game for our reeling Jazz.

If we lose this one . . . no, let's not go there.

Let's go out tonight and win. Just win.