Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN Friday, Jan. 22, 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.
Celtics (8-5) at Sixers (10-5), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
• The Sixers won the first meeting of the season with the Celtics on Wednesday, 117-109, behind a monster game from Joel Embiid, who finished with 42 points and 10 rebounds. It was his second 40-10 game of the season and 10th in his career; the Sixers have gone 8-2 in those 10 games.
• In Wednesday’s win, Joel Embiid scored 23 points and shot 7-7 from the field, 1-1 from 3 and 8-10 from the free throw in 4:36 of matchup time against Tristan Thompson. Daniel Theis had more success defending Embiid, holding him to six points on 2-5 FG, 0-1 3P, 2-3 FT shooting in 3:29 of matchup time.
• The Celtics rank second in the league in unassisted 3-pointers (27.8%), while the Sixers rank second in assisted 3-pointers (90.5%). Ben Simmons leads the Sixers in assists (8.0 per game, 5th in NBA) with 4.5 of those assists coming on 3-point shots.
• Jaylen Brown has been one of the breakout stars of the 2020-21 season. He is averaging a career-best 25.8 points (11th in the NBA) and is shooting 51.8% from the field, 39.5% from three and 77% from the free throw line — all career best marks. He scored a team-high 26 points in Boston’s loss to Philly on Wednesday, but shot just 41.7% from the field.
• Joel Embiid leads all players in post ups at 7.4 per game, accounting for a third of his offensive possessions. Embiid is averaging a league-high 8.0 points per game on post ups, shooting 58.5% on those possessions and drawing shooting fouls 21.3% of the time.
Nuggets (7-7) at Suns (8-5), 10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
• The Suns defeated the Nuggets 106-103 in their first meeting of the season on Jan. 1 thanks to a clutch bucket by Chris Paul with 7.3 seconds left. The Nuggets are just 1-6 this season in games with clutch situations (score within five points in final five minutes); the Suns are 4-4.
• Nikola Jokic continues to average a triple-double through 14 games with 25.1 points (13th), 11.3 rebounds (6th) and 10.0 assists (1st). Between his points scored (25.1) and points created by assists (25.3), Jokic is responsible for 50.4 of Denver’s 115.6 points per game (43.6%).
• Jamal Murray is coming off a season-low five points in 21 minutes of Denver’s win over OKC on Tuesday — his third single-digit scoring game of the season. Murray, who has been dealing with a nagging elbow injury, has shot much better on the road (53.3%) than he has at home (40.4%) so far this season.
• Denver ranks second in first-quarter scoring (31.4 ppg) and take an average lead of 4.1 points after the first 12 minutes. The Suns average 25.8 ppg in the first quarter (25th) and trail by an average of 1.3 points enter in the second quarter. Denver is 7-4 when tied or leading after the first quarter, and are 0-3 when trailing after the first.
• Deandre Ayton’s rebounding has increased each year of his career from 10.3 per game as a rookie, 11.5 last season and 12.1 through the first 13 games of this season. Ayton ranks fifth in the league in rebounding and third in contested rebounds (5.8 per game).