The 5-1 Sixers will aim to avoid their first losing streak of the season Wednesday night when they play the Utah Jazz.
Here are the essentials for tonight’s game against the 4-3 Jazz:
When: 9 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
Joel Embiid returns tonight after his two-game suspension for a fight last Wednesday with Karl-Anthony Towns. Beyond the obvious impacts of the Sixers getting their best player back, Al Horford shifting to power forward and Tobias Harris moving to the three, there are a few questions Brett Brown and his team will need to answer.
How does he keep Horford and Harris involved and effective offensively while reintegrating Embiid? That duo combined for 104 points on 56.9 percent shooting during Embiid’s suspension.
Will Raul Neto stay in the rotation? He was excellent Saturday vs. the Blazers and also had a good first-half stint in Phoenix.
How will Brown split the minutes between Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle? Korkmaz started last game and scored a career-high 20 points, while Thybulle only played a little under five minutes.
And, if Ben Simmons still is turning down opportunities to take jump shots, how can the Sixers get more out of him offensively?
Two of the best defenses in the NBA
Utah’s defense, anchored by Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, has the best defensive rating in the league, 97.4. The Sixers are tied for sixth at 100.9.
A low-scoring game would not be a huge surprise, especially given that neither team has been great offensively. The Jazz are 25th in the NBA in turnovers per game (17.9), while the Sixers are 29th (19.0.)
Be wary of Mitchell
One of the biggest issues for Donovan Mitchell in his first two seasons was his inefficiency. The Sixers saw that firsthand last November, when he needed 35 shots to score 31 points in a game he finished without an assist.
He’s started his third season very well, averaging 25.7 points per game on 52 percent shooting from the floor, 44.4 percent from three-point range. With the Sixers having already given up 31 points to Derrick Rose, 33 to Damian Lillard and 40 to Devin Booker, they should be wary of Mitchell.
Bojan Bogdanovic is also averaging a tick over 20 points and should take some of the scoring burden off Mitchell this season. Another of Utah’s new additions, Mike Conley, has struggled mightily outside of a 29-point performance last Tuesday in a win over the Clippers. Conley is shooting just 31.8 percent from the floor and 28.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.