Tune-In Tidbits: ABC/ESPN Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021
Get ready for Sunday's games on ABC and ESPN with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Celtics (15-14) at Pelicans (12-17)
3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
• The Celtics are one of three teams – along with Portland (Damian LIllard and CJ McCollum) and Brooklyn (Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) to have two players averaging at least 25 points this season (Jayson Tatum 25.8 ppg, Jaylen Brown 25.6 ppg).
• The Pelicans have the second-most-used lineup in the league as the five-man group of Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Zion Williamson have logged 350 minutes together over 24 games. The Pelicans have outscored their opponents by 37 points in this 350 minutes with this lineup on the court.
• Zion Williamson ranks 14th in the NBA in scoring at 25.0 ppg with 18.7 of those points coming inside the paint – the most by any player in the league as Zion holds a 1.8 ppg advantage over second-ranked Giannis Antetokounmpo. Of Williamson’s 432 field goal attempts this season, only 20 have come outside the paint (4.6% of his total shots).
• Over the past five games, Williamson is averaging 30.4 ppg and shooting 71.3% from the field. His scoring ranks ninth among all players and his shooting percentage leads the 106 players that average 10 shot attempts per game.
• The Celtics rank fifth in the league in points off turnovers (18.9 per game), fueled by their 8.2 steals per game (8th). The Pelicans allow 17.5 points off turnovers per game (9th-most in the league)
Nets at Clippers (22-9)
8 p.m. ET, ESPN
• This is a matchup of the top two offenses in the league with Brooklyn leading the NBA in offensive efficiency (117.9) and the Clippers only slightly behind (117.4). Five of the top 21 scorers in the league (removing minimum games played threshold) represent these two teams, with four expected to be in action on Sunday as Kevin Durant (29.0 ppg) will miss his fourth straight game for Brooklyn.
• The Nets won the first meeting with the Clippers on Feb. 2 behind Kyrie Irving’s 39 points (his 2nd-highest scoring game of the season) and James Harden’s triple-double (23 pts, 14 ast, 12 reb). Harden has five triple-doubles in his 17 games with the Nets — one more than he had all last season with Houston in 68 games played. Nicolas Batum was the primary defender on Irving for a team-high 3:33 (33.7% of Irving’s matchup time) and held him to six points on 2-for-2 shooting. Reggie Jackson defended Irving for 3:25 (32.3% of matchup time) and allowed 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 on 3-pointers.
• The Nets have the highest effective field goal percentage (58.9%) and highest true shooting percentage (62.4%) of any team on record dating back to the 1996-97 season in both categories. The only other team in the past 24 years to post a TS% over 60% is the 2017-18 Warriors (60.3%). The Clippers are also on pace to top that mark by the Warriors as LA ranks second in TS% at 60.5%.
• Brooklyn enters Sunday having won its last five games, which is the longest active win streak in the league and the team’s longest streak since winning six in a row from Jan. 14-25, 2019. During the win streak, Kyrie Irving has averaged 28.5 points on 54.8% shooting from the field and 48.1% on 3-pointers, while James Harden has added 25.6 points on 51.9-47.6-96.3 shooting splits and 11.4 assists per game.
• The Clippers lead the league in 3-point shooting at 41.9% shooting as a team, followed by Brooklyn at 40.9%. A key difference in the 3-point shooting for these two teams can be found when looking at assisted vs. unassisted 3-point shots. The Clippers rank seventh in the league with 86.6% of their 3-pointers being assisted, while the Nets rank 27th with only 76.4% of their 3-pointers coming off an assist. James Harden ranks fourth in the league with 72.4% of his 3-pointers being unassisted, while Kyrie Irving ranks 15th at 49.2%. By comparison, Paul George leads the Clippers at 32.9% unassisted (33rd).