Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN Friday, Feb. 5, 2021
Get ready for Friday's ESPN doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Get ready for Friday’s ESPN doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Raptors at Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
• Fred VanVleet is coming off a career-high and Raptors franchise-record 54 points in Toronto’s win over Orlando on Tuesday. It was the third 50+ point game in the NBA this season with VanVleet joining Bradley Beal (60) and Stephen Curry (62). While Beal and Curry are both top five scorers this season, VanVleet ranks 34th at 20.4 ppg – a career best for the fifth-year guard.
• James Harden leads the NBA in assists at 11.2 per game. There has been an added emphasis on his playmaking since joining the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 16. In eight games with Houston, Harden averaged 10.4 assists and 16.9 shot attempts per game. In nine games with Brooklyn, Harden has averaged 12.0 assists and 15.4 shot attempts per game.
• One quarter of James Harden’s 12 assists per game are going to Kevin Durant, who is shooting 58.9% from the field and 66.7% on 3-pointers off passes from Harden. After Durant’s 3.0 assists per game, Harden’s most frequent assist parters have been Joe Harris (2.4 per game) and Jeff Green (2.3 per game).
• Kyle Lowry leads the NBA in charges drawn so far this season with 12 in 18 games played. Since Hustle Stats debuted during the 2016-17 season, Lowry has led the league twice (2019-20 and 2017-18) and finished outside the top six only once in four seasons.
• This is a matchup of two of the top 3-point shooting teams in the league. Brooklyn ranks second in 3-point percentage (40.1%) and ranks sixth in 3s per game (14.7), while Toronto ranks eighth in 3-point percentage (37.8%) and second in 3s per game (16.1). The Raptors lead the NBA in 3-point attempts (42.5 per game) – nearly six more per game than Brooklyn. Defensively, the Nets hold their opponents to 36.0% shooting from three (8th lowest allowed), while the Raptors rank 14th by allowing 36.8% shooting from three.
Celtics at Clippers, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
• Among the top 300 players in minutes played, Kawhi Leonard ranks first in the league in offensive efficiency with the Clippers scoring 124.5 points per 100 possessions while he is on the court.
• There are five players in the NBA this season putting up 50-40-90 shooting splits (FG%-3P%-FT%), with two of those players on the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard (51.3 FG%, 40.4 3P%, 90.9 FT%) is shooting a career-best from the free throw line and posting his second-best shooting percentages from the field (52.2%, 2013-14) and from three (44.3%, 2015-16) – both of which game during his time in San Antonio.
• Paul George ranks seventh in the league in 3-point percentage with a career-high mark of 47.8%, which is a 6.6 percentage point increase from his previous career best from last season. George ranks fifth in the league in 3-pointers made per game (3.8) and 14th in 3-pointers attempted per game (7.9). Among high-volume 3-point shooters (5+ 3PA per game), George’s 47.8% accuracy ranks third among the 85 qualified players.
• Which team will be better coming out of halftime? The Clippers lead the NBA with an average of 31.0 ppg in the third quarter, outscoring their opponents by league-best 4.7 points. The Celtics rank fifth at 30.4 ppg, but average just a 0.3-point advantage after the quarter.
• The Celtics rank second in the league in most unassisted baskets, with only 54.4% of their field goals being generated by an assist. The Celtics rank fifth in the league in field goal attempts coming after seven or more dribbles by the shooter (11.4 per game). Kemba Walker accounts for 6.0 of those attempts (10th in NBA), followed by Jayson Tatum at 3.7 per game.