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Analysis: Jazz make easy work of taking down Sixers

Utah defeated Philadelphia 120-85. The 76ers were seriously shorthanded with Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle, Danny Green and Ben Simmons out and it showed

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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) blocks a shot from Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz (30) during the game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz easily handled a depleted Philadelphia 76ers roster 120-85 on Tuesday night at Vivint Arena.

High notes

  • The Jazz finally had a game where they shot the ball well — 42.1% from 3 to be exact, the Jazz’s best 3-point shooting game of the season. It’s only their fourth game this season shooting better than 38% from 3-point range, and even in the games that they’ve shot well, it’s been really streaky. They looked like they really felt good on Tuesday and were in a nice rhythm.
  • There seemed to be quite a few people concerned about Donovan Mitchell, I suppose because he had just 13 points. So what was wrong with Mitchell on Tuesday? Nothing. If anything, there was so much going right for other players that he didn’t need to have an insane game, and that’s really nice. It honestly would have kind of been a letdown if Mitchell would have had to go off in order to beat the shorthanded Sixers.

  • The Jazz had six players score in double-figures and were able to empty out the bench in the fourth quarter to give their heavy-usage players some rest. In a game where you should absolutely win based on the talent on the floor, it was exactly the type of game the Jazz wanted.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic led all scorers with 27 points on 5-of-7 shooting from deep and added six rebounds and two assists on the night. Great offensive game from Bogey.

“It was our defense, everything started with our defense. In the last couple of games, even when we had a great defensive possession, we couldn’t close it. So finally we controlled our boards and then it’s easy for us to play off our defense and play in transition, moving the ball.” —Bojan Bogdanovic

  • What was better than any of the offensive stuff was the defensive play from the Jazz. There was only a small stint where they let up, but they pretty much kept their foot on the gas pedal all night, and with so many games recently with inconsistent defensive efforts from the first to the fourth quarter, it was a bit of a sigh of relief for them to put together a nice defensive game.

“I think it’s a mindset. Whether we’re up or down, that’s how we need to play. We need to have that same mentality in the first quarter, right out of the gate, not just if we’re behind and there’s a feeling of desperation.” —Jazz head coach Quin 

  • At the top of the defensive leaderboard was none other than Rudy Gobert. He dominated the first half with his control of the game, playing well in space and against smaller opponents and also cleaning up on the glass. The Jazz were able to jump out to a big lead in large part because of Gobert.

Low notes

  • No Joel Embiid (health and safety protocols), no Matisse Thybulle (health and safety protocols), no Danny Green (left hamstring) and obviously no Ben Simmons (other). Simmons was actually fined for not coming on the trip with the team. COVID-19 protocols have wreaked havoc on the Sixers lately and the Jazz played against a Sixers’ squad that was missing three of their starting five. Sure it was good to get a win, no matter who was on the court, and the Jazz have been beaten by bad teams recently so it very well could have happened again, but it’s never as exciting when you’re watching a team that isn’t even playing the same style of basketball that they normally would because they’re missing so many guys.

Flat notes

  • The Sixers just need their guys back.
  • But the biggest loser of this game was TNT. Never good to have a game on national TV where stars are missing and it’s a blowout to the point that the broadcasters are talking about fourth-quarter free chicken promotional events.