The Utah Jazz will battle the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night in an attempt to break out of an early season slump that has seen them lose 4 out of there last 5 games. They will have to end the slump against another team that many thought to be a serious contender in the East before the season started. The 76ers have a similar story to the Jazz so far this season(aside from the elephant in the room regarding Ben Simmons) in that both teams started pretty fast and have now fallen to the middle of the pack in their respective conferences. The 76ers are coming into game number two of a six game road trip and have currently lost four in a row. The fun part of this game for Jazz fans and probably most players is that we get to welcome back Georges Niang to Vivint Arena. Niang spent the last several season in a Jazz uniform and admittedly was kind of a polarizing player, but he always seemed to play hard for the team and the fans and hopefully he will get a warm reception when he checks into the game for the first time tomorrow.
The 76ers have had a rough week as losers of 4 straight. After starting the season 8-2, it seemed that the team may have figured out a way to escape the drama of starting point guard holdout Ben Simmons and play winning basketball. Then star center Joel Embiid tested positive for COVID-19 and the Sixers have not been able to win a game since. Granted Philadelphia was also missing starting wing Tobias Harris as well, but he has been back for the last two games and he is starting to feel more and more comfortable as shown by scoring a season high 32 points against the Pacers on Saturday. But they will still be without Joel Embiid for this game against the Jazz, which will be hard to overcome against a Jazz team looking to get back to their winning ways at home.
The Jazz on the other hand appear close to getting key offseason signing Rudy Gay back from injury. Although the team has announced that Gay will not be available for Tuesday’s game, he did practice with Utah’s G-League Affiliate on Sunday and fully participated in practice with the Jazz on Monday. The Jazz are hoping that the news of Rudy Gay’s impending return will provide at least a small jolt to a team that expected to contend in the Western conference once again and needs to turn it around in a hurry if they want to remain in contention for the #1 seed for the second straight year.
For the last couple of years this matchup has developed into a fun rivalry between two teams that are sort of a mirror image of each other. Even though there is no Donovan Mitchell vs Ben Simmons and you won’t find Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid jawing at each other, this game can still be fun. Even if both teams are just searching for a way to get a win and hopefully get back on track.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, November 16th, 2021, 8:00 PM MT
Location: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
RADIO: 97.5/1280 The Zone, KSL Radio