It was more of the same for the Philadelphia 76ers inside the Center tonight as they lost their sixth straight game to start the year, this time to the Utah Jazz by a score of 109-84. If Saturday’s one point loss to the Cavaliers had you feeling optimistic or excited, this game was sure to quickly take all of it away.
Before the start of the game one could make a pretty good argument that the scenario leading up to this game could have resulted in a Sixers win. The Jazz were on the second leg of a back to back. They were without their starting point guard in George Hill who also just happened to be named Western Conference Player of the Week earlier today. Their best player Gordon Hayward just came back from injury the day before and was playing in just his second game of the season. I tweeted out the Sixers would win. If that’s not enough for you, I’m not sure what is.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, my attempt at a prophetic tweet didn’t land and the Sixers looked as flat as ever, making it apparent pretty early on how this one would end.
The Sixers went in to the second half down nine points and were within striking distance despite their turnover and defensive (especially on the inside) woes. They were pretty even with the Jazz to start but the gap widened once the Sixers could only manage one, yes one, field goal in the last eight minutes of the quarter. The Jazz took a sixteen point lead into the final frame and never let off the gas, making any hope of a comeback nonexistent for the Sixers.
It was your classic fairytale filled with turnovers, poor shooting, and interior defense that can barely be classified as such.
Trying to win a game while posting a 0.89 assist-to-turnover ratio, shooting 40% from the floor, and allowing the opposition to hit 58% of their three-pointers (on 19 attempts) is most likely not going to work out in your favor, as was the case with the Sixers in this one.
The Jazz are a good team and the Sixers are not.
Some other notes:
- Joel Embiid was in foul trouble for much of the game and had turnover trouble but he managed a couple of great highlights; one with his defense on Dante Exum and the other with a beautiful Hakeem-esque take to the basket on Jeff Withey.
- I’m not hear to debate/argue about Jahlil Okafor. I can only report what I see. And what I saw was not good. Quinn Snyder abused the second year player out of Duke with pick and roll after pick and roll after pick and roll. Jah was lost, the Jazz capitalized. And there was this.
- Gordon Hayward did not look like a guy who played his first game of the season yesterday as he posted a 20 point, 7 rebound, 5 assist night while his dad admired the ample parking at the Philadelphia sports complex.
- Richaun Holmes, coming off a DNP-CD, did not see any playing time until the waning moments of the third quarter. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea.
- Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, and Ersan Ilyasova were a combined 8-29 from the field, 2-11 from beyond the arc. Not ideal.
- I’m aware the box score says Rodney Hood had 18 points, but I’m not so sure he didn’t actually have somewhere near 40. He was 4-5 from beyond and was very open for the majority of them.
We’re back at it again on Wednesday in Indiana against Thaddeus Young and the Pacers. Sixers get their first win of the year that night.