Tune-In Tidbits: NBA TV and ESPN Friday, April 16, 2021
Friday features three nationally televised games with the action tipping off on NBA TV before shifting to ESPN for a doubleheader. Get ready for all three games with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Pacers (26-28) at Jazz (41-14)
• The Jazz are a league-best 25-3 at home this season. After having their franchise-record 25-game home win streak snapped on Monday against Washington, they bounced back with a win over OKC on Tuesday. This season, the Jazz have averaged 118.6 points and won games by an average of 14.9 points at home, compared to 115.3 ppg and a 3.8 ppg differential on the road.
• Indiana likes to score in the lane and in transition. The Pacers are fourth in the league in points in the paint (53.5 ppg), led by sixth-ranked Domantas Sabonis averaging 12.8 in the paint. The Pacers are also first in the NBA in fast break points (16.0 ppg); Utah ranks 18th in fast break points allowed (12.6 ppg).
• The Jazz rank first in the league in 3-pointers made (16.8 per game) and third in 3-point percentage (38.9%). They have a league-high 14 games with at least 20 3-pointers made and are 12-2 in those games. The Pacers allow the ninth-highest 3-point percentage (37.4%), but the second-fewest attempts (30.9 per game). Meanwhile, the Jazz lead the league with 43.1 3-point attempts per game.
• Myles Turner leads the NBA with in both blocks per game (3.5) and overall rim protection, holding opponents to 48.8% shooting while he’s defending the basket. The last player to average over three blocks a game for a full season was Hassan Whiteside with Miami in 2015-16 (3.7 bpg).
• Donovan Mitchell ranks fourth in the NBA in usage rate (32.6%), which is the highest mark of his career in his fourth NBA season. In the fourth quarter, Mitchell’s usage jumps to 37.3%, which ranks third in the league behind only Zach LaVine and Joel Embiid. Mitchell ranks fourth in fourth-quarter points (322) and second in both free throws made (99) and attempted (119).
Clippers (39-18) at Sixers (38-17)
• The Clippers lead the NBA in offensive efficiency for the season, scoring 117.4 points per 100 possessions. If they maintain this level, they would establish a new league record, topping the 115.9 offensive rating from Dallas last season.
• LA’s already potent offense has only gotten better during their current seven-game win streak as the Clippers are scoring 121.3 points per 100 possessions. During the win streak, Paul George is averaging 30.6 ppg, 5.6 apg and 5.4 rpg, while posting 53.%-58.8%-100% shooting splits.
• The Sixers will look to slow down the Clippers thanks to their second-ranked defense, which allows only 106.6 points per 100 possessions and holds opponents to the fourth-lowest effective field goal percentage at 52.0%.
• The Clippers won the first meeting of the season with the Sixers, 122-112 on March 27, behind 28 points from Kawhi Leonard, while the Sixers played without Joel Embiid. Leonard only scored two points on a pair of free throws and was held to one shot attempt in 4:43 of matchup time with Ben Simmons (38.9% of Leonard’s offensive matchup time). Kawhi scored 12 points on 5-5 shooting from the field in just 44 seconds of matchup time with Mike Scott (6.1% of matchup time).
• This matchup features three players ranked in the top 13 in steals per game – Kawhi Leonard (1.7), Ben Simmons (1.6) and Matisse Thybulle (1.5). As a team, the Sixers rank third in steals (8.9), while the Clippers rank 18th (7.2 per game). The Sixers convert those steals into points as they rank sixth in points off turnovers (18.4 ppg).
Knicks (29-27) at Mavericks (30-24)
• During their four-game win streak, the Knicks lead the league in unassisted field goals with 51.8% of their buckets coming without an assists. While their offense has been isolated, their defense continues to work as a unit, holding teams to 105.7 points per 100 possessions (sixth-lowest in the NBA) during this stretch.
• Thanks to an incredible 3-point runner at the buzzer by Luka Doncic on Wednesday against Memphis, the Mavericks have now won six of their last eight games that have been decided by five points or less. That is a stark contrast from recent history as the Mavs had gone just 6-18 in games decided by five points or less from Nov. 8, 2019 to Feb. 1, 2021.
• Dallas’ bench players score an average 36.8 points per game, which ranks ninth in the league for most points by a team’s reserves. The Mavs bench is led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who ranks second in the league in scoring off the bench at 15.5 points per game.
• Kristaps Porzingis ranks sixth in the league in points per game on catch-and-shoot jumpers (7.7 ppg). He attempts 7.1 catch-and-shoots per game and shoots with an effective field goal percentage of 54.0%. Reggie Bullock leads the Knicks in catch-and-shoot points (6.6 ppg, 17th in NBA), with an effective field goal percentage of 62.9% on 5.2 attempts per game.