Utah's size is a problem. A big, big problem. The Jazz sport three bigs who are leaps and bounds better at playing a big man's game than anyone who has worn the Sixers uniform this season. I'm no fan of Al Jefferson's, but after watching these first eight games, I'd gladly take him as on option for the Sixers on the offensive end. And don't get me started on Derrick Favors, it's too painful.
Since we're playing the waiting game (and losing) on Andrew Bynum, the Sixers are going to have to find a way to muddle through their schedule until he finally appears. Stay at or above .500, if possible. Somehow manage to cobble together enough of an offense to pick up wins. Play to the limited strengths you have, game plan to minimize weaknesses. Unfortunately, you can't really consider these games as much of a preparation for when Bynum joins the team, because the team is going to fundamentally change (hopefully for the better) if/when he's in the lineup. These games aren't about a tune-up, they're about not digging too deep of a hole.
With that in mind, tonight's game is pretty simple. The only way to limit the damage Utah's bigs are going to do is to keep the ball out of their hands as much as possible. The good news is the Jazz don't have a single legitimate point guard on their roster. Mo Williams is a gunner in disguise. Randy Foye doesn't even put the costume on. Hayward can set people up, but that's not his forte. Collins should use Jrue and Ivey to apply constant pressure on the ball. Make it take 10-12 seconds for the Jazz to even begin to get into their offense.
On the other side of the ball, Jefferson is an oaf on defense and Mo Williams can't spell the word. Use whoever big Al is guarding to set screens for Jrue and play for Jrue's penetration off the action with a shooter in the strong-side corner at all times and Thad crashing to the hoop from the weak side for dunks if his man comes to stop Jrue on the drive. By putting Jefferson into the play, you're taking the threat of the double away. He's simply not capable.
It sound simple, but I'm not expecting it to happen. The Jazz are more than capable of bludgeoning the Sixers to death and if the pressure isn't applied, they're going to be scrambling all night. Foye has been their best shooter from distance, but that's a mirage. Hayward and Mo Williams are putting up a bunch of deep balls, with both hitting a third of the time.
The tip is at 7pm. Use this as your game thread. I won't be home in time to watch this one live, but I'll post a recap after I watch on DVR. It'd be nice if they could poke their head back above .500, but I'm not confident.