76ers Look to Bounce Back in Utah
The 76ers (8-6) will look to bounce back Tuesday in Utah, visiting the Jazz (8-5) for the first and only time this season.
The game marks a meeting between the two top offenses in the NBA, as the Sixers boast the league’s top offensive rating (114.3) and the Jazz hold the second-best (112.3).
The Sixers will be shorthanded once again Tuesday, absent Joel Embiid (health and safety protocols), Matisse Thybulle (health and safety protocols), and Danny Green (left hamstring tightness).
Georges Niang - who has been key for the Sixers’ fight during the team’s shorthanded stretch - will face his former team for the first time Tuesday, after spending his previous four seasons with the Jazz.
Niang’s teammates, veterans and youngsters alike, are happy about his switched allegiance.
“[Georges] has been a big lift for our locker room, as well as on the floor,” Seth Curry said at Monday’s practice. “He brings a lot of energy, a lot of personality - you need guys like that in the locker room, who keeps the spirits high, keeps guys laughing.”
While Niang has been elevating his game in his early months as a Sixer - averaging career-highs in scoring (12.0 ppg), rebounding (2.4 rpg), assists (1.7 apg), and steals (0.8 spg) - he’s also been keeping his teammates together.
“I love Georges,” Isaiah Joe added. “He’s energetic, he’s got a great personality.
“One thing I’m all about is good vibes, and [Georges] surely brings good vibes every time he walks in a room.”
Heading into Tuesday’s outing, the 76ers continue to lead the NBA in field goal percentage (47.2%), and are second in the league in both three point percentage (38.3%) and free throw percentage (83.8).
Tuesday’s matchup tips at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The Jazz (8-5) have dropped four of their last five outings, most recently falling to the Heat Saturday, 111-105.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the way for Utah Saturday, finishing with 26 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Rudy Gobert notched a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double, while Jordan Clarkson scored a bench-high 25 points.
Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz in scoring this season, averaging 25.6 points per game, while Gobert averages a team-high 15.3 rebounds per game.
Rudy Gay is out for Tuesday’s contest (right heel injury recovery), while Udoka Azubuike and Jared Butler are on assignment with the G League.
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