Tune-In Tidbits: NBA TV Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Get ready for Wednesday's NBA TV doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Suns (41-16) at 76ers (39-18)
• Phoenix won the first meeting of the season with Philadelphia, 120-111 on Feb. 13, as Devin Booker scored 36 points and Chris Paul added 18 points and 10 assists to help the Suns overcome a 35-point effort from Joel Embiid. Embiid ranks second in games with at least 35 points this season (15), while Booker is 12th (nine). The Sixers are 11-4 when Embiid his 35 points and the Suns are 8-1 when Booker does.
• The Sixers lead the NBA in free throw rate (0.302), free throws made (20.1 per game) and free throws attempted (26.2 per game). Embiid leads the league in free throws made (10.1) and attempted (11.8) as he shoots 85.3% at the line. The last player to average more than 11.8 free throws per game was Shaquille O’Neal in 2000-01, when he averaged 13.1 free throws and shot 51.3%
• Phoenix ranks fifth in the league in assist percentage (63.0% of their made baskets come off an assist), while Philadelphia ranks 26th (56.4%). The Suns rank second in assist/turnover ratio as they dish out 2.09 assists for every turnover, and also rank sixth in lowest turnover percentage (13.0%). The Sixers rank fourth in the league in points off turnovers, which may be hard to come by against the Suns.
• The Suns (13.0%) and Sixers (11.7%) rank third and fourth, respectively, in percentage of total points coming from mid-range field goals. Joel Embiid leads the NBA with 2.9 mid-range field goals made per game on 50.9% shooting, while Chris Paul is tied for second at 2.8 mid-range field goals made on 51.0% shooting. Of the 60 players that have attempted at least 100 mid-range field goals this season, Paul ranks fourth in FG%, while Embiid ranks sixth.
Grizzlies (29-27) at Clippers (41-19)
• The Clippers are coming off a 113-112 win against Portland on Tuesday night and will play on the second night of a back-to-back for the 12th time this season. They have gone an NBA-best 10-1 (0.909) on zero days rest so far this season with a point differential of plus-12.7.
• Kawhi Leonard returned from a four-game absence on Sunday, but did not play on Tuesday and has been ruled out for the next week with soreness in his right foot. The Clippers are 4-1 in the five games that Leonard has most recently missed with Paul George averaging 34.5 points won 51.5% shooting and adding 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
• Memphis continues to lead the league in points off turnovers (19.5), fast break points (16.3), second-chance points (15.3) and points in the paint (56.3); however, their offensive efficiency is still only middle of the pack, scoring 111.8 points per 100 possessions (14th in the NBA). This is partly due to their lack of 3-point shooting, making just 11.2 per game (23rd in the league) on 36.1% shooting (17th).
• Among second-year players, Ja Morant ranks second in scoring (19.0 ppg) and first in assists (7.4 apg, 10th overall). Since 2000, the only players to average at least 19 points and seven assists in their second NBA season are Luka Doncic and Trae Young from 2019-20, and LeBron James from 2004-05.
• The Clippers and Grizzles split their first two meetings of the season during a two-game series on Feb. 25 and 26, with both teams winning by at least 20 points. Leonard (who will miss tonight’s game) led the Clippers at 23.5 ppg, while George was held to 13 ppg — his second-lowest scoring average against any team this season. Dillon Brooks was the primary defender on George for 11:58 over the two games and held George to four points on 2-8 shooting. Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with 19 points and 13 rebounds per game.