Utah Jazz vs Philadelphia 76ers: Keys to getting a home win

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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The Utah Jazz are coming off two tough losses and will look to get back on track  as they host Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The last two games for the Utah Jazz have been nothing short of forgettable from a fan’s perspective. The Toronto Raptors were the first team to get a hold of their defense and a historic shooting night from James Harden and the Houston Rockets sent the Jazz back home with a 5-5 record.

Unfortunately for Utah, they ran into two very poor 3-point shooting teams that had incredible nights from beyond the arc. Toronto and Houston came into their respective battles with the Jazz as the two worst shooting teams in the league and simply destroyed the Jazz from deep. And as much as I hate the old cliché, this is a make or miss league.

Luckily for the Jazz, the less-than-daunting Philadelphia 76ers are coming to town and if they are determined to get back on track with a win, here are the keys to getting it done –

Key No. 1: Get off to a good start

The Utah Jazz have definitely struggled this season getting out of the gate. In the five games the Jazz have lost so far this season, they’ve been outscored by a total of 34 points in first quarters. After 10 games, the Jazz have led three times at the first break and they have gone on to win all three.

That’s something that will go a long way towards getting a victory over Philly tonight.

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It’s especially important that the Jazz get off to a hot start because coming back from an early deficit won’t be easy against a team who’s been gifted a three-day holiday this early in the season.

The 76ers are well-rested, but they will be without some key players against the Jazz. Their coveted No. 1 draft selection Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Jerryd Bayless who has been taking most of the minutes as the backup point guard is out with a wrist injury and Joel Embiid will miss the game for rest.

Perhaps this could be influenced by the disconcerting task of taking on Rudy Gobert but, sadly, we will never know for sure. For Jahlil Okafor however, this could be an opportunity to dig himself out of the trenches of Philadelphia’s frontcourt and prove his worth as Philly continues to scour the trade market.

The Jazz will need to capitalize on Philadelphia’s lack of depth and firepower to take an early lead that they’ve struggled to obtain in recent games.

Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz /

Utah Jazz

Key No. 2: Win the turnover battle

The Jazz have struggled with turnovers so far this season but I don’t think it’s an extreme cause for concern. They are still trying to integrate a new starting point guard whose success relies on getting others involved.

Nonetheless, they currently own the third worst turnover rate in the NBA with 17.4 per game. The Philadelphia 76ers are learning to play through a new primary ball handler as well in Ben Simmons and they’re turning the ball over 18.1 times per game – the most in the NBA.

The Jazz are among the league leaders in forcing turnovers and scoring off turnovers so they should be able to create some transition offense from deflections and steals in this one.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – NOVEMBER 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz on defense during their game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 01, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – NOVEMBER 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz on defense during their game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 01, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Conversely, the 76ers are not very good at forcing turnovers so the Jazz may have quite the edge in this battle. If they have a structured offensive attack like we saw against Toronto and Houston, there’s a good chance we see a great discrepancy in turnovers and points off turnovers at the end of the night in favor of the Jazz.

Key No. 3: Dominate the paint

Without Joel Embiid in the lineup for Philly, there is a major lack of size and physicality on the interior. Dario Saric will start at power forward while the undersized yet athletic Richaun Holmes fills in at center.

Off the bench, the 76ers will play Amir Johnson and possibly Jahlil Okafor up front. But there’s nothing Philadelphia can throw at the Jazz frontcourt that should really impede the path of Rudy Gobert.

This is Rudy’s chance to really stuff the stat sheet and once again put the NBA on notice. It’s important for Utah to dominate in the paint by crashing the boards at both ends, denying access to the rim and carving a path of destruction through Philadelphia’s interior defense.

With the lineup the 76ers are putting on the court, Gobert and company should be perfectly capable of doing that.

Next: Utah Jazz Report Card: Player grades through Utah’s first 10 games

Although this game looks like an easy Jazz win on paper, they can’t afford to get complacent and they have to come out with more energy than their last two outings. If the Jazz can take care of these three facets of the game, they will put themselves in an excellent position to walk out of Vivint Smart Home Arena with the win.

Statistics courtesy of NBA.com.