It’s the East’s best meeting the West’s top team this Thursday, as the Philadelphia 76ers host the Utah Jazz in the City of Brotherly Love.
Catch this game live on Thursday, March 4, at 8 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Philadelphia 76ers (23-12, 15-3 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ben Simmons
- SG: Seth Curry
- SF: Danny Green
- PF: Mike Scott
- C: Joel Embiid
The Sixers got back in the win column after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers last Sunday, as they took down the Indiana Pacers at home on Tuesday, 130-114. Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz played like one-day All-Stars against the Pacers, scoring 26 and 19, respectively to give Philadelphia a huge scoring boost from the bench.
That kind of offense from the Sixers’ second unit will be crucial for Philadelphia, as it looks to counter the scoring of Sixth Man Player of the Year candidate Jordan Clarkson. In the Sixers’ loss to Utah on February 16 on the road, Clarkson and the Jazz’ bench outscored Philly’s second unit, 57-25.
Joel Embiid is hoping he can play in this rematch against Utah. He missed the February game due to a back issue and he’s reportedly having some discomfort in his left ankle. That said, it doesn’t appear that he’s in serious danger of missing Thursday’s showdown with Rudy Gobert. Embiid is averaging 29.8 points on 52.1 FG% and 11.3 rebounds per game this season.
ROAD TEAM: Utah Jazz (27-8, 12-6 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mike Conley
- SG: Donovan Mitchell
- SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Rudy Gobert
The Jazz have been shaky of late. After a lengthy win streak that put them all the way to the top of the overall standings in the NBA, Utah has lost two of its last three games, including a 129-124 defeat at the hands of Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on the road last Tuesday.
Are the Jazz regressing? It’s hard to tell with such a small sample size, plus it’s not like Utah’s offense is on a downward spiral. The Jazz are third in the NBA with 116.4 points per game and also third in shooting efficiency with 1.182 points per possession. Utah has even been better on that end of the floor in the last five games, during which the Jazz averaged 122.0 points and shot 41.8% from the 3-point area.
Speaking of which, the Jazz drowned Philadelphia with their outside shooting back in a 134-123 Utah win in Salt Lake City on February 16. Jordan Clarkson decimated the Sixers in that game by scoring 40 points with eight triples in 29 minutes coming off the bench. The Jazz are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games after failing to cover in the previous contest.
Utah avoids another loss, as the Jazz hit at least 15 3-pointers while Rudy Gobert slows down Joel Embiid in a 125-119 Utah win.