The Sixers (23-11) hosted the Utah Jazz (16-20) on Saturday. Both teams wanted to rebound from blowout losses on Friday. The Sixers could neither make a shot and nor stop the Jazz at the rim in a 120-109 defeat.

Before we get to the action, some notes.

Contextual Notes

The following players are on assignments with Utah's G League affiliate and were not available:

- Taylor Hendricks

- Brice Sensabaugh

- Johnny Juzang, Josh Christopher, and Micah Potter (two-way)

Will Hardy started Kris Dunn, Collin Sexton, Simone Fontecchio, Lauri Markkanen, and John Collins.

The Sixers were without the services of Joel Embiid, who has swelling in his left knee.

Tobias Harris left Friday's game with a sore left ankle and was out on Saturday. De'Anthony Melton missed the game with a sore lumbar spine.

Robert Covington and Furkan Korkmaz have illnesses and were out.

Kenny Lofton Jr. is on a two-way G League assignment with the Delaware Blue Coats and was not available.

Nick Nurse started Tyrese Maxey, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nico Batum, Marcus Morris Sr., and Paul Reed.


- If there was no Embiid in this game, everyone was going home with at least something. How about some Reed jumpers? A rarity, but he certainly indulged in this game.

- Patrick Beverley has become one of the best bang-for-your-buck signings of last offseason, right up there with Mr. Oubre. The Sixers couldn't stop jack in this game, but that was never going to stop Beverley from hounding the ball. He's sneakily maybe the best on the team at keeping his dribble alive. He just keeps the line moving, navigating every space he can get until there's an action to be taken.

His play over the last month-plus has really turned around. There was a point early in the season in which you weren't sure having him on the floor would be tenable because he refused to shoot. Even though he still isn't taking a ton of threes, his knack for finding the rim off the drive, fight on the glass, and ability to manage a game as a backup ball-handler have been immensely valuable to this team.


- I get that Embiid was a late scratch for this game (who knows when the Sixers actually knew he was out), but, man, did the strategy stink on both ends early on. Let's start with the offensive side of the ball, where the first handful of possessions came and went without Maxey getting so much as one touch. The best player available, not one touch on the first couple of possessions. There is no scenario for any team in the league where that can happen without criticism.

I will say, Dunn did an excellent job of top-locking Maxey when screeners approached to try and deny him a path to that teammate. But, you have to get creative and force it a little bit.

- The issue on the other side of the ball extended through the first quarter and was a theme throughout the first half. I'll have to re-watch the game to get a better idea of what happened, but the Sixers essentially spotted Utah 15-20 points in the paint purely by leaving the middle of the floor open against rollers. I'm not exaggerating when I say they gave away free dunks.

There's no guard on the Jazz that you're so worried about that you're trapping high every possession. So, I'm assuming there were miscommunications that left the Sixers very vulnerable in the paint if the ball-handler made the pass over the top.

Some of the easy dunks surely came from transition defense. Philadelphia shot below 40 percent from the field in the first half, which means the Jazz had their fair share of opportunities to score against a defense that was not set. When you have Morris out there and they're getting three-on-twos and two-on-ones, there are going to be some open dunks.

But, it happened way too often in the halfcourt, and that's everyone's faults.

- As we see Maxey struggle in some of these games without Embiid, I think it's important to contextualize that so many of his misses come with contact. We can refer to the slump from beyond the arc as its own thing. He simply isn't hitting those shots right now.

But, the shooting elsewhere on the floor has also taken a dip, particularly when Embiid is not available. I don't think it's fair to draw it up to Maxey simply underperforming. There are some possessions in which he flat-out misses. Everyone does.

But, he's getting hit a lot, and to no reward. I don't know where he would rank in terms of percentage of fouls that are correctly called in his favor, but he gets one of the worst whistles I've ever seen for a guard of his caliber. So, when you see him needing a ton of shots to get his scores, it should be said that he's not getting his due from the people with the whistles.

The Sixers (23-12) will visit the Atlanta Hawks (14-20) on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Eastern time. You can catch the action on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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