Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN Friday, March 26, 2021
Get ready for Friday's ESPN doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Celtics (21-23) at Bucks (29-14)
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
• The Bucks and Celtics have split the first two games of their season series — with the two games decided by a total of three points. Milwaukee defeated Boston 121-119 on Wednesday for their eighth straight win behind 27 points and 13 rebounds from Khris Middleton. It was Middleton’s eighth double-double of the season — a career best in just 43 games played.
• Middleton scored just six of his 27 points (22.2%) on 2-9 shooting (22.2%) when being defended by either Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum or Marcus Smart — who combined to guard Middleton for 74.1% of Middleton’s offensive time. Middleton was able to exploit switches and mismatches as he scored 20 points on 9-11 shooting against all other matchups.
• The Bucks are the highest scoring team in the league at 120 points per game; that mark has risen to 124.3 ppg during their eight-game win streak. Milwaukee has six players averaging double-figure points and eight players averaging at least 9.0 points per game.
• For the season, the Bucks rank third in pace as they average 102.5 possessions per 48 minutes. During their win streak, the Bucks have played even faster as they hold the top mark in pace at 106.24 over all teams’ last eight games. In that same span, the Celtics rank 22nd at 97.42.
• The Celtics have played in a league-high 30 games that feature clutch time — score within five points in final five minutes of fourth quarter or overtime — four more than any other team. Boston is 11-19 in clutch games, having been outscored by 47 points in 105 minutes. The Bucks have played in the second-fewest clutch games (16) and have gone 8-8 while outscoring opponents by 20 points over 61 clutch minutes.
Hawks (22-22) at Warriors (22-23)
10 p.m. ET, ESPN
• Both the Hawks (on Wednesday) and the Warriors (on Thursday) are coming off losses to Sacramento. The Warriors fell 141-119 for their ninth loss of 20 or more points this season — tied with OKC for second-most in the league behind Cleveland’s 10. The Warriors face the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back; so far this season the Warriors are 3-6 on no days rest.
• The Warriors were without both Stephen Curry (tailbone contusion) and Draymond Green (illness) in the loss to the Kings. This season, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by 99 points in the 907 minutes that Curry and Green have shared the court, have been outscored by 87 points in 704 minutes when they are both off court. They have been outscored by 52 points in 466 minutes with only one of them on court.
• The Hawks rank second in second-chance points at 15.2 per game, with Clint Capela accounting for nearly a third of those points — his 4.7 second-chance points per game ranks third in the league. The Warriors allow the second-most second-chance points of any team in the league (14.7 per game).
• This is the fourth game of an eight-game road trip for the Hawks. The Hawks are 1-2 on the trip and 11-13 on the road this season. At home, the Hawks have the fifth-best assist percentage in the league (64.2%), but they drop to 20th on the road (57.5%). Atlanta’s defense falls from 12th at home (110.3) to 22nd on the road (113.3).
• The Warriors average the sixth-most fast break points in the league (14.6 ppg) as they play at the second-fastest pace (103.37). The Hawks rank in the bottom third in both categories — 27th in fast break points (10.0 ppg) and 22nd in pace (98.57).