1. How do the Sixers match up with the Jazz bigs?
The Jazz have struggled mightily through two games this year. They have a rotation of four bigs who can each play at least 20 minutes, but only one of which (Paul Millsap) has been effective through two games this season. I expect that to change a bit against the Sixers admittedly weak big rotation. In all likelihood, Al Jefferson will have a good time on offense and Paul Millsap will continue to play well.
One thing to look out for, on the Sixers end, is our use of Thaddeus Young. While he should have a field day against Jefferson, Kanter, and Favors, Millsap will neutralize his quickness edge, even if he doesn’t play much on defense. Expect him to get some early playing time, to maximize his effectiveness. Two more things to look out for: Elton Brand‘s energy and Spencer Hawes‘ continued rebounding renaissance.
2. How badly will Iguodala abuse the Jazz’s wings, Hayward and Miles?
Andre Iguodala did nothing short of abusing Gordon Hayward to the fullest extent last year, and C.J. Miles isn’t much of a defender. He could have a huge all-around night. I don’t expect the three-point barrage to continue, but he should be able to attack the lane. And Al Jefferson isn’t the best help defender, so he should be able to finish as well without too much resistance.
Also, apparently Jazz fans really like Iguodala.
3. Can Jrue Holiday with the point guard battle with Devin Harris?
Former all-star Devin Harris isn’t really an all-star caliber player, but he’s statistically comparable to Jrue Holiday. And both have struggled so far in this two-game season. Harris is a burner who can score with the best of point guards, while Holiday has normally been more hesitant to take over games. They have very different styles, and if Harris can beat Holiday the Jazz have a good chance at winning. But if Jrue shows up to this game remembering how good he is, hitting shots and limiting his mistakes, he could help the Sixers dominate. It could be a long night for the Jazz faithful, who are among (I think) the best fans in the NBA. Winning in Utah is always difficult, but I think the Sixers can do it tonight.
And finally, I messed up in the game notes for yesterday: the Sixers play the Warriors tomorrow.