Two of the top teams in the NBA square off in the City of Brotherly Love on Monday when the Utah Jazz take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Coming off an absolute blowout defeat at the hands of the Raptors Sunday, we’ll see how the Jazz bounce back. They have not one injury to report, and yet they were trailing Toronto by a whopping 40 points at the half. The Raptors have been doing that to teams all year, but it is shocking (and maybe a little telling of what’s to come?) to see the Jazz down by so many points to a team like that, given who they have on their roster.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, comes in after a tight home win over the Pacers on Saturday night in which Ben Simmons made three consecutive key plays on defense to help close the door. He had a tremendous performance, while Joel Embiid made all the shots his team needed from him. Philadelphia has made its mark on the defensive end in 2019-20, ranking fifth in points allowed by the opposition. They rank just 18th in points for, but it isn’t that shocking given their personnel.
The spread for Monday night’s game favors the 76ers by six points, while the over/under is set at 208.5.
Trying To Bounce Back
When you trail in a game by 40 and end up losing by 22, you have to shake it off and move on to the next one. It’s a part of the game, and we’ll see how the Jazz can handle it. The biggest surprise in Utah has been the continued struggles of newly-acquired Mike Conley, who is averaging 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while shooting just 37 percent from the floor. He has struggled to make shots in his first year with the Jazz, and the 32-year-old continues to miss the looks we always see him make. Donovan Mitchell has continued to tear it up with his 25 points per game, while Bojan Bogdanovic is scoring nearly 22 per game. Conley has to pick his game up.
The Jazz rank ninth in the league in points allowed thanks to the rim protection of Rudy Gobert and the strong perimeter defense of Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale.
Looking To Keep Rolling
With the 76ers’ new starting lineup, there were plenty of questions people had coming into the year. Adding Al Horford to play a lot of minutes next to Embiid and sliding Tobias Harris to the 3 was going to hurt offensive production no matter how you look at it. Harris is going against different types of defenders now that he isn’t playing power forward, and putting a big man, even one who can thrive outside the paint, next to Embiid, was an interesting move. Josh Richardson has fit in nicely next to Simmons in the backcourt, however. Embiid is leading the team, averaging 23 points and 13 rebounds on the year.
The defensive identity of the Sixers is what keeps them going and winning most of the time. Simmons showcased his ability on that end with three steals on the Pacers’ final three possessions to put the game to bed on Saturday.
Philly Wins It
Make sure to bet the Sixers, as Utah will stumble to another loss.
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