Utah Jazz 2017-18 Week Four Outlook, Predictions

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz reacts on the bench during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on November 05, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz reacts on the bench during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on November 05, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 3: JJ Redick (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 3: JJ Redick (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

11/7 Utah vs. Philadelphia

7:00 pm MT – AT&T SportsNet/League Pass

Opponent record: 5-4

Season series: Tied 0-0

The Philadelphia 76ers have been an interesting team so far this season as they’ve certainly experienced both highs and lows. They’ve logged some impressive wins, such as a victory over the Rockets in Houston and the Pistons in Detroit, but they’ve also struggled at times as well. Part of this has to do with them being a young and developing squad that certainly has significant talent, but is far from polished just yet.

They’ve also dealt with some weird injury issues regarding their number one overall pick Markelle Fultz, who is missing time with a shoulder issue, and they continue to be cautious with their purported star Joel Embiid who’s averaging just 27.6 minutes per game. There’s no denying that Embiid is making the most out of those minutes, though, as he’s putting up a solid 20.5 points per game on 52.1 percent shooting from the field while adding 10.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks.

But oddly enough, in continued caution with the injury-prone big man, the Sixers will actually be resting Embiid against the Jazz on Tuesday, claiming that he is sitting out due to “load management”. This is likely in an effort to limit his minutes so that he can continue to make a recovery to playing full minutes, but several Jazz fans (and Rudy Gobert himself, for that matter) took the decision as just evidence that Embiid isn’t up to the task of facing off against the Stifle Tower.

https://twitter.com/rudygobert27/status/927644612000235520

I seriously doubt that’s the case as Embiid, justified or not, sure acts as if he’s not afraid of any challenge as he always exhibits extreme confidence. Nevertheless, with Embiid out of the mix for Philly, it should help the Jazz dramatically as he is the Sixers leading scorer and in many ways the lifeblood of the team.

But that doesn’t mean he’s the only weapon the Sixers have. In fact, many may argue that their rookie Ben Simmons is the biggest threat that Philadelphia possesses. Up to this point of the season, Simmons has looked absolutely phenomenal and is without a doubt the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year Award as he is averaging 18 points on 51.6 percent shooting as well as an astounding 9.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game – nearly a triple-double.

He’s also aided by the likes of Robert Covington, J.J. Redick and Dario Saric, all of whom have been solid for the Sixers so far this year. Philadelphia is no longer an automatic win as this rising squad has dreams of postseason play and although they lack the experience, they certainly have the talent to make a run at such a goal in the weak Eastern Conference.

They’ve played tough in nearly every game they’ve played and have won some surprises, so look for them to challenge the Jazz on Tuesday. Nevertheless, particularly with Embiid out of the mix, I expect the Jazz to get back to their winning ways on their home court and come away victorious against a shorthanded Philadelphia team. Doing so would put them back above .500 and hopefully help them get some much-needed momentum and confidence back after a discouraging loss to Houston.

My Prediction: Jazz Win

Final Score: Utah 104, Philadelphia 92