By Michael Donovan
This is starting to get monotonous!
The Utah Jazz overwhelmed the Sixers 109-84 at the Wells last night, dropping Sixers to 0-6 in this still young season.
“I think as a team we were flat,” said Jahlil Okafor (above), who paced the Sixers with 15 points off the bench. “That team isn’t 30 points better than us. We didn’t perform as well as we could have, obviously.”
“We didn’t play with the effort, the intensity that we came out against Cleveland [in a one-point loss Saturday],” said Robert Covington. “We took a step back. That can’t be us.”
Joel Embiid got off to a slow start, thanks in large part to the presence of 7-foot-1 Utah center Rudy Gobert, but ended up with 14 points, nine rebounds, five turnovers, one block and no assists. Five fouls and the one-sided score kept him to 19 minutes.
“I’m sure they had a game plan and they followed it pretty well, which led to however I played,” Embiid said.
Asked how he thought he played, Embiid said he needs to watch the tape to “really assess what I did wrong and what I did right.”
“We have to wait and watch and grow [Embiid],” said Sixers coach Brett Brown. “There’s lots of times it’s clear he’s still a young man.’
Utah, which beat the Knicks on Sunday while the Sixers were off, didn’t have starting point guard George Hill, who was the Western Conference Player of the Week, due to a sprained right thumb.
The Sixers had 18 turnovers and handed out just 16 assists.
“We were getting shoved out of stuff,” Brown said. “Their pressure bothered [our point guards].”
The 6-3 Jazz blocked 11 shots to the Sixers’ two and Philly only had four fastbreak points, which isn’t nearly enough for a subpar halfcourt team.
The Sixers trailed by nine points (52-43) at halftime, then fell behind by 16 late in the third quarter and 22 early in the fourth.
A decent portion of the half-filled arena left during a timeout midway through the fourth period after serenading the team with boos.
Starting small forward Covington, who entered the game shooting 16.7 percent (5-for-30) from 3-point land, went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
“Coach just said to stay confident [and] the shot’s going to fall,” Covington said. “My teammates found me in a good position and the shots felt good leaving my hand.”
Okafor, who only appeared in one preseason game due to a sore right knee, said he’s starting to become more comfortable on the court.
“I do feel like my wind is getting better every game,” Okafor said. “I feel like every game I’m getting a better flow, a better rhythm.”
Okafor believes the Sixers are going to break the losing streak soon.
“I want to win for my teammates and they want to win for me,” he said. “We want to win for each other. We’re going to get it soon. We’ve got to keep at it.”