Tune-In Tidbits: Rockets vs. Hornets and Bucks vs. Nuggets on NBA TV
Get ready for Monday's NBA TV doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Get ready for Monday’s NBA TV doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Rockets (11-11) at Hornets (11-13)
• LaMelo Ball leads all rookies in scoring (13.8 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg), and ranks second in rebounding (5.9 rpg). The only other rookie to ever average those marks or better are: Ben Simmons, Michael Carter-Williams, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson.
• Houston’s most-used five-man lineup that does not include either James Harden (traded) or Christian Wood (injured) has played only 27 minutes over six games together so far this season. That group — PJ Tucker, Eric Gordon, DeMarcus Cousins, Victor Oladipo and Jae’Sean Tate — has been outscored by two points and is shooting just 35.8%.
• Houston ranks 2nd in the league in defensive efficiency, holding opponents to 106.2 points per 100 possessions and a 50.8 effective field goal percentage. The Rockets defense has been at its best with Victor Oladipo on the court, posting a 97.6 defensive efficiency rating in his 286 minutes on court.
• The Hornets are 7-5 in clutch games so far this season with Devonte Graham leading all players with a plus-52 point differential when he’s on the court in clutch situations. Graham has scored 25 points on 8-12 (66.7%) shooting from the field and 7-10 (70%) from 3-point range, while dishing out eight assists with only one turnover when the game is on the line.
• The Hornets enters Monday with a league-high 69.9% assist percentage and are tied for third in assist/turnover ration (1.95). The last team to assist on at least 70 percent of their baskets over the course of a season was the 2016-17 Warriors.
Bucks (15-8) at Nuggets (12-10)
• Nikola Jokic finished Saturday’s loss to Sacramento with a career-best 50 points to go with 12 assists, eight rebounds and three blocks — a statline unmatched in NBA history (note: blocked shots have been compiled since 1973-74). The closest a player came to matching it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 when he finished 50 points, 11 assists, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
• This is the first meeting of the season between the Nuggets and Bucks. Last season, the Nuggets were one of two teams (along with the Mavericks) to sweep the season series with the Bucks, who finished the season at a league-best 56-17 (0.767).
• Milwaukee enters Monday riding a four-game win streak — tied with Utah, Los Angeles and Sacramento for the longest active streak in the league. During this four-game stretch, the Bucks have five players averaging at least 14 ppg, four players shooting at least 59% from the field and three players shooting at least 58% from 3-point range.
• The Bucks (118.9) and Nuggets (115.0) rank 1st and 5th, respectively, in offensive efficiency this season. Individually, Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks 5th the league with a 120.6 offensive rating, while Nikola Jokic ranks 14th at 118.6.
• Which team will win the battle of the paint? The Nuggets rank 6th with 49.9 ppg in the paint, led by Nikola Jokic’s 15.3 (3rd in NBA). The Bucks rank 9th with 48.8 ppg in the paint, led by Giannis Antetokoumpo’s 16.2 (2nd in NBA). Milwaukee has the advantage defensively, allowing only 42.3 ppg in the paint (3rd), while the Nuggets allow 46.0 (12th).