Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Get ready for Wednesday's ESPN doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Mavericks (24-21) at Celtics (23-24)
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
• Dallas won the first meeting of the season against the Celtics — 110-107 on Feb. 23 — thanks to a Luka Doncic deep 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining. Doncic shot 6-of-8 from 3-point range and finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
• Jaylen Brown (29) and Jayson Tatum (28) combined for 57 points in the loss. The Celtics are only 3-7 this season when the two All-Stars score 25 or more points in the same game.
• The Celtics (44.9%) and Mavericks (44.4%) rank third and fourth, respectively, in percentage of unassisted field goals made. Jayson Tatum (2.7) and Luka Doncic (2.3) rank third and sixth, respectively, in field goals made on isolation plays.
• Boston ranks eighth in the league for fewest points allowed in the paint, only giving up 45.4 in the lane per game thanks to sixth-ranked Robert Williams III averaging 1.9 blocks per contest. Opponents shoot 55.0% inside of six feet against Williams, which is 5.8 percentage points lower than their collective regular average.
• Luka Doncic’s scoring prior to All-Star (28.6 ppg) and post All-Star (28.1 ppg) are nearly the same, but he is creating his points differently since the break. In the 40 games pre All-Star, Doncic was scoring 42.1% of his points in the paint and 27.8% of his points from 3-point range. In eight games post All-Star, his 3-point production has increased to 39.8% on 10.4 attempts per game vs. 36.8% on 8.0 attempts pre All-Star. As a result, he’s now scoring 44.0% of his points from beyond the arc and only 34.7% of them in the lane.
Bucks (29-17) at Lakers (30-17)
10 p.m. ET, ESPN
• The Lakers won the first meeting of the season with the Bucks, 113-106 on Jan. 21, behind 34 points from LeBron James and 18 points from Anthony Davis — both of whom will not play on Wednesday due to injury. Davis also served as the primary defender on Giannis Antetokounmpo for a team-high 4:37 (43.7% of Giannis’ offensive matchup time) and held Giannis to nine points (36% of his 25 total points).
• Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds in the loss on Jan. 21. Giannis leads the NBA with 21 games with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. He has led the league in 25-10 games in each of the past two seasons — winning Kia MVP honors both times. Giannis has 43 such games in 2019-20 and 42 in 2018-19. Since Giannis entered the league in 2013-14, the only player with more 25-10 games is Anthony Davis with 194 compared to Giannis’ 155.
• After winning eight straight games, the Bucks have dropped three in a row entering Wednesday’s game. For the season, the Bucks are the second-highest scoring team in the league at 119.0 ppg (0.1 ppg behind Brooklyn). During this three-game skid, the Bucks have averaged just 105 ppg, which would rank 27th in the league. Milwaukee was shorthanded in a loss to the Knicks as Giannis and three other starters sat as the Bucks matched their season low with 96 points.
• Andre Drummond is set to make his Lakers’ debut on Wednesday against Milwaukee. In 25 games played, Drummond has averaged 13.5 rebounds, which would rank second in the league had Drummond met the minimum games require to qualify. Four of those rebounds have come on the offensive end as Drummond ranks third in offensive boards and fourth in second-chance points (4.3 ppg).
• The Bucks (6.0) and Lakers (4.7) rank fourth and seventh, respectively, in average point differential so far this season. A league-high 34.5% (10) of Milwaukee’s 29 wins have come by 20 points or more; the Bucks are tied with Utah for the second-most 20-point wins in the league, trailing only the Clippers (11). The Lakers are tied for seventh with six wins by 20 or more points.