Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
Get ready for Wednesday's ESPN doubleheader with key stats about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Get ready for Wednesday’s ESPN doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Celtics (8-4) at 76ers (9-5), 7:00 ET, ESPN
• Boston’s 12th-ranked offense (110.8 pts/100 poss) will take on Philadelphia’s 3rd-ranked defense (105.7 pts/100 poss allowed). The Sixers lead the NBA in blocks (7.1 per game), rim protection (56.1% FG allowed) and rank 4th in opponent effective field goal percentage (50.7%).
• Joel Embiid ranks fifth in the league in clutch scoring with 30 points on 9-14 FG (64.3%), 1-3 3P (33.3%) and 11-12 FT (91.7%). The Sixers are unbeaten in four clutch games with Embiid on the court. For Boston, clutch time scoring has been evenly split between Jayson Tatum (22 points on 18 shots) and Jaylen Brown (21 points on 16 shots) as the teammates rank 11th and 12th in the league in clutch scoring.
• Seth Curry is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday after missing Philadelphia’s last six games. Curry leads the NBA with a 96.9% effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoots this season, shooting 20-29 on catch-and-shoot 3s. Curry’s eFG% is 14.4 percentage points higher than any of the other 284 players that have attempted at least 10 catch-and-shoots this season.
• The Sixers are 7-1 at home this season, compared to 2-4 on the road. The team averages 16.2 more points per game in Philadelphia than they do away from home. The Sixers had a similar disparity last year before the season shifted to a single location campus — going 29-2 at home and 10-24 on the road. The Celtics are 4-2 both at home and on the road, but have shot the ball better on the road (55.7 eFG%) than at home (51.8 eFG%).
• Despite Kemba Walker making his season debut, the Celtics saw their five-game win streak snapped in a 30-point loss to New York on Sunday. The Celtics will need to rebound from their worst offensive performance in years as they scored just 75 points and shot 29.8% against the Knicks. The last time the Celtics scored 75 points or fewer came on Feb. 1, 2015 in a loss to Miami; the last time they shot below 30% came on Jan. 5, 2004 in a loss to Detroit.
Suns (7-5) at Rockets (4-8), 9:30 ET, ESPN
• After opening the season 5-1, the Suns have gone 2-4 over their last six games. The biggest disparity has come on the defensive end as the Suns held opponents to 98.7 points per game in their first six games, but have allowed 115 points per game over their last six games.
• Victor Oladipo had a strong effort in his Rockets debut, finishing with 32 points, nine assists and five rebounds, but the Rockets fell to Chicago 125-120 for their third straight loss. It was Oladipo’s highest-scoring game in over two years; he last reached the mark on Jan. 4, 2019 while a member of the Indiana Pacers. This was only the second game of his career with at least 32 points and nine assists; the other coming during his sophomore season in Orlando.
• The Suns allow the fewest 3-pointers attempted (29.8 per game) and made (10.9 per game) of any team in the league. After leading the NBA in 3PA per game in each of the past four seasons, the Rockets’ 3PA have dropped this year as they rank eighth at 37.8 per game. In their first two games without James Harden, the Rockets have averaged 14.5 3PM and 36.0 3PA.
• Christian Wood is one of four players to average at least 23 points and 10 rebounds this season, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. Wood leads this group in blocks at 1.7 per game, which also ranks sixth the NBA.
• Devin Booker has struggled with his shot late in close games so far this season. In 30 minutes of clutch play, Booker is shooting 4-23 (17.4%) from the field, 1-10 (10%) from 3-point range and 2-4 (50%) from the free throw line. By comparison, Booker put up 42.0-20.7-91.3 shooting splits in clutch time last season.