Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Pelicans at Bucks (2/25/18)

by Jim Eichenhofer

A look at three key numbers related to Sunday’s game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center between New Orleans and Milwaukee (2 p.m. Central, Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):

27.3: Anthony Davis’ career scoring average against Milwaukee, his third-highest vs. the other 29 NBA teams. The five-time All-Star has been on a roll lately, and if his past results in meetings with the Bucks are any indication, there’s a decent possibility that will continue today in Wisconsin. From a scoring standpoint, the only teams Davis has enjoyed facing more are Detroit (30.4 ppg, including a career-best 59-point game) and Oklahoma City (28.2 ppg). One factor that’s aided his effectiveness in games with Milwaukee is a free-throw percentage of 89.7, making 78 of 87 attempts. That’s the 24-year-old’s second-best against any opponent, with a rate of 90.8 vs. Detroit (59 of 65) topping the list.

7-0: New Orleans record against the Central Division this season, including sweeps over Detroit and Chicago. The Pelicans have one victory apiece vs. Cleveland, Indiana and Milwaukee, with trips remaining to Ohio and Wisconsin, along with a home makeup date vs. the Pacers next month. New Orleans has been outstanding against the Eastern Conference in general, going 17-7. The Pelicans have been better vs. the East in nearly every major category, including scoring 2.8 points more per game, handing out 2.0 more assists and blocking 1.3 more shots. New Orleans only went 14-16 against the opposite conference.

10-3: Milwaukee’s record since Joe Prunty took over as head coach for Jason Kidd on Jan. 22. That is tied with Toronto and Denver for the league’s third-best record during that timeframe, behind only 13-1 Houston and 12-2 Utah. The Bucks have made their biggest strides under Prunty at the defensive end, ranking second in the NBA in efficiency (101.2 points allowed per 100 possessions, via, trailing only Utah (98.1) over the past month-plus. Certainly the caliber of competition has helped, with Milwaukee winning eight times out of 10 against teams currently below .500, but on Friday the Bucks posted an impressive road win at Eastern Conference-leading Toronto. They’ve only lost once at home under Prunty, falling Feb. 15 to Denver.