Sixers Look To Get Right Against The Visiting Jazz
Posted 11/16/2012 11:30:00 AM

Utah Jazz (4-5, 3rd in Northwest) at Sixers (4-4, 4th in Atlantic)
7:00 PM ET, November 16, 2012
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Probable Starters
Sixers
PG: Jrue Holiday – 18.3 ppg. / 8.8 apg. / 3.8 rpg.
SG: Jason Richardson – 9.8 ppg. / 2.3 rpg. / 1.8 spg.
SF: Evan Turner – 10.6 ppg. / 8.0 rpg. / 3.4 apg.
PF: Thaddeus Young – 12.6 ppg. / 7.4 rpg. / 1.6 spg.
C: Kwame Brown – 3.5 ppg. / 3.1 rpg. / 1.2 apg.

Jazz
PG: Mo Williams – 16.5 ppg. / 7.1 apg. / 2.3 rpg.
SG: Gordon Hayward – 13.9 ppg. / 2.1 apg. / 3.7 rpg.
SF: Marvin Williams – 10.3 ppg. / 4.0 rpg. / 0.9 apg.
PF: Paul Millsap – 16.1 ppg. / 9.7 rpg. / 2.6 apg.
C: Al Jefferson – 15.0 ppg. / 11.8 rpg. / 1.9 apg.

Injuries
Sixers
Andrew Bynum – Right Knee (OUT)

Jazz
Raja Bell – Not With Team
Earl Watson – Right Knee (OUT)

Last Five Games
Sixers
L- 11/14 vs. Detroit / 94-76
L- 11/12 vs. Milwaukee / 105-96
W- 11/10 at Toronto / 93-83
W- 11/9 at Boston / 106-100
W- 11/7 at New Orleans / 77-62

Jazz
L- 11/14 at Boston / 98-93
W- 11/12 at Toronto / 140-133
W- 11/10 vs. Phoenix / 94-81
L- 11/9 at Denver / 104-84
W- 11/7 vs. Los Angeles Lakers / 95-86

Three Keys to the Game
1. Break out of the offensive slump – The Sixers are currently ranked 29th in the NBA in points scored (88.0) while Jazz are ranked 24th in points allowed (99.7). Something’s gotta give there. The Sixers offense has been so incredibly painful to watch for long stretches this season because they settle for jumpers much too easily. They need to make a concerted effort to drive the ball hard to the rim. Never mind the fact that the Jazz are third in the league in blocks (8.0), the Sixers need to be aggressive and initiate contact. If the jumpers aren’t falling then the plan of attack needs to change.

2. Utah’s frontcourt vs. Philly’s frontcourt – Without Andrew Bynum patrolling the middle, the Sixers are undersized down low. The Jazz are fifth in the league in rebounding (45.2) and third in blocks (8.0). The Sixers have a lot of guys who have nice rebounding statistics but they lack a dominant rebounder like Al Jefferson. The eighth year pro out of Prentiss High School in Mississippi is currently tied for fifth in the league in rebounding with Denver’s Kenneth Faried. He’s also third on the team in scoring with 15.0 points per game.

Paul Millsap is similar to Thaddeus Young in the fact that he is an undersized four who relies on quickness and superior athleticism when going against bigger opponents. While Young put on 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason to bring his weight up to 235 pounds, Millsap is a stout 258 pounds. The battle around the basket will be one to watch.

3. Evan Turner vs, Gordon Hayward – It’s a battle of 2010 NBA Draft lottery picks as Turner, the second overall pick, and Hayward, the ninth selection, play similar ‘tweener roles for their respective teams. Hayward was a big time scorer for Butler before making the move to the NBA, scoring 992 points in just two years. He’s starting to find his scoring touch in the pros as he is currently averaging career highs in field goals made (5.0), field goals attempted (11.2), three-pointers made (1.0) and points scored (13.9). Hayward is also averaging a career high 3.6 rebounds per game.

Turner is at a crossroads in his career. Now that Andre Iguodala is now playing in Denver, it’s Turner’s time to shine. Part of the issue with Turner’s development is the fact that he dominated the ball at Ohio State but in Philly he has to play off the ball with Jrue Holiday. Still, Turner has found ways to be a significant contributor as his defense and playmaking have improved. He is currently averaging career-highs in points scored (10.6) and rebounds (8.0). He leads all guards in rebounding, in fact. The one big knock on Turner is his shot. His shooting percentage stands at a woeful .363 right now. For him to make the next step and really live up to his double two overall billing he’ll have to figure out the mechanics of his shot. It’s year three, though, and he might just be what he already is.

Posted By: John Lamb  

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