State of NFC East during Eagles bye week
Game 10 Preview: Flyers look for redemption in Buffalo

Its "Philly Skyline" vs. "Stifle Tower" in Sixers Home Opener

Big Jah had a blast stream rolling Tyler Zeller into the floor of the Boston Garden, but the Stifle Tower won't go down so easily.
 
The Sixers' Twin Towers of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor had an impressive debut agains the Celtics on Tuesday, with Jah going for 26 points an 7 boards and Nerly-Nerls showing off his defensive mastery with 12 boards, three steals and two blocks. Most impressive of all though was that the two did most of this damage while on the court together, putting to rest for at least 48 hours the idea that two bigs can't play together in the modern NBA. To be honest, the two looked downright fluid, with Jah providing extra space for Nerlens to work.
 
But lets not kid ourselves. The Philly Skyline was operating against Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger, names that don't exactly strike fear into the hearts of opposing bigs (god if ONLY we were rebuilding like the Celtics are!!). Tonight is different as the Jazz will trot our their own twin bigs comprised of Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, the latter of which proved himself to be a premier NBA rim protector last season while leading the Jazz to one of the best defensive ratings in the league during the second half of the season (which coincided with a deadline trade of Enes Kanter, freeing up Gobert's minutes). While Wednesday's season opener was promising for the Sixers bigs, tonight will be a true test of their skills as a tandem.
 
Hopefully the Sixers will get some floor spacing help tonight in the form of one Nik Stauskas a.k.a Sauce Castillo. Sauce missed most of the preseason with a stress reaction in his leg and then Tuesday's game with back spasms, but he is listed as probable for tonight's tilt. The Sixers desperately need some of their injured players to hurry back if they want to squash any talk about another record setting losing streak to start the season, because as good as Nerlens and Jah looked, the rest of the team was lost. Considering three of our predicted five starters are injured, this is perhaps not surprising. Sixers nation has been excited about Sauce ever since Hinkie fleeced the Kings, so his playing tonight is something else to look forward to.

Game Notes:

  • Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker will play tonight after serving a one-game suspension for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert in a preseason game. No boxing tonight please, the Sixers can't afford more injuries.
  • Tonight is Utah Jazz head coach (and former Sixers assistant coach) Quin Snyder's 49th birthday. Halloween birthday parties are always the best, right?
  • While Sixers 2014 first round draft pick Joel Embiid is missing his 2nd season in a row with injury, Utah Jazz 2014 first rounder Dante Exum (who many thought were in play for the Sixers at 3) is also sitting out his second season with a torn ACL. Throw in Jabari parker missing last season with an ACL, and the top of the 2014 draft is feeling rather gimpy.

Projected Lineups:

Sixers

PG Isaiah Canaan

SG JaKarr Sampson

SF Hollis Thompson

PF Nerlens Noel

C Jahlil Okafor

Utah Jazz

PG Raul Neto

SG Rodney Hood

SF Gordon Hayward

PF Derrick Favors

C Rudy Gobert

Injuries: Sixers: Joel Embiid (Out, Foot), Tony Wroten (Out, Knee), Kendall Marshall (Out, Knee), Robert Covington (Out, Knee)

Jazz: Dante Exum (Out, Knee) 

Prediction: The Sixers are going to continue to be outgunned until they get some bodies back, so while I expect a high energy affair for the home opener, Sixers ultimately fall 104-91.

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