It’s really the full swing of the season now, with the Jazz (4-3) hosting the Philadelphia 76ers (5-1) at home. We all know this is going to be a fun matchup because of the two powerhouses that the teams are - the Jazz are unbeaten at home and the 76ers are the presumptive East Conference favorites - and the history the teams have with each other. What history, you might ask? Raul Neto, a casualty of the Mike Conley trade due to cap space limitations, is now playing for the visiting team, and we are all very upset about this fact.
Oh, you say there’s other history?
Ah, you mean this history.
Before the game with the Suns, the 76ers were unbeaten. One of those wins came against the hapless Pistons, but there were some good nailbiters against the Blazers, Hawks, and Celtics. And let’s not forget the game where Joel Embiid and Karl Anthony-Towns got into it, suspending each other for two games. Both (and Ben Simmons) probably deserved more than what they got, but the Jazz have to take on Embiid in his return from suspension.
The Jazz have had a rough start to the season, having played seven games against Western Conference, splitting games against the Western favorite Clippers and surprise team of last season Kings, losing to the currently top Lakers, overcoming the hot start Suns, and beating the better than expected Thunder. A Jazz win tonight will show they can truly challenge for an NBA title spot.
When: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 • 9:00 PM ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone, 97.5 The Fanatic
What to watch for
Defense and Defensive Rebounding
Much ado has also been made about the rebounding problem. The 76ers are currently the best offensive rebounding team in the league, and before the last two games in California, the Jazz were the best defensive rebounding team in the league. However, with Ed Davis out, the Jazz’s rebounding power is reduced extremely significantly. If the Jazz are able to dominate the boards against the 76ers’ ridiculously long lineups, then we can safely put these fears to rest, but this will be a huge test for the Jazz.
The 76ers are a huge defensive threat, with all starters 6’5” or taller, each averaging more than a steal per game. In particular, Ben Simmons and rookie defensive phenom Matisse Thybulle are averaging 3.3 and 2.3 steals, top five in the league. Thybulle, Josh Richardson, Al Horford, and Joel Embiid all average more than a block per game. With the Jazz starting 6’0” Mike Conley, 6’1” Donovan Mitchell, and 6’4” Royce O’Neale, the Jazz will have their work cut out for them defending these bigger players, rebounding over them, and working against them on the offensive end.
Game Thread Ground Rules
Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.
Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Exum Island isn’t a 5-Star resort, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.