Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Monday, May 31, 2021
Get ready for Monday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to know about each Game 4 matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
• Joel Embiid, who ranks ninth in the playoffs in scoring (29.3 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (67.4%), is shooting a perfect 11-11 on 24 post ups through the first three games of the series. Alex Len has defended Embiid for a team-high 9:21 and allowed 13 points on 5-9 shooting; Daniel Gafford has defended Embiid for 8:07 in the series and allowed 27 points on 10-11 shooting from the field, 2-3 from 3-point range and 5-5 from the free throw line on three shooting fouls.
• Bradley Beal leads the Wizards in scoring at 30.3 ppg (7th in playoffs), but is shooting just 15% (3-20) from 3-point range in the series, with 15 of those 20 3-point attempts being either open (closest defender 4-6 feet away) or wide open (closest defender 6+ feet away). Beal is shooting 3-15 (20%) on those open/wide open looks; during the regular season, Beal shot 101-286 (35.3%) on open/wide open 3-pointers.
• Philadelphia’s shooting has steadily increased in this series – 54.8 eFG% in Game 1, 60.8% in Game 2, 68.4% in Game 3 – with their Game 3 mark being the second-highest of any game thus far in the 2021 Playoffs. The Sixers had only two games over the 72-game regular season with a higher eFG% than they posted on Saturday.
• The Sixers are not only going for a sweep in this first round series against Washington, they are looking for their ninth straight win over the Wizards dating back to Dec. 21 2019 (3-0 in 2021 playoffs, 3-0 in 2020-21 regular season, 2-1 in 2019-20 regular season). During this eight-game win streak, the Sixers have averaged 123.8 points per game, shot 53.1% from the field and 43.4% from 3-point range, and have an average margin of victory of 15.5 points, with three of the past four wins coming by 25 points or more.
• The Philadelphia lineup of Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons has the highest offensive rating (150.4) and highest net rating (44.1) of the 28 five-man lineups that have shared the court for more than 15 minutes this postseason. During the regular season, that Sixers lineup played 656 minutes together and posted a 14.0 net rating; only six teams had a lineup that played at least 500 minutes together, with Philadelphia’s group second in minutes played and first in net rating.
• Among the top 50 scorers in the playoffs, Ja Morant (14.6) and Dillon Brooks (9.8) have made the biggest leaps from regular season scoring to playoff scoring average. After averaging 19.1 ppg (35th in NBA) in the regular season, Morant is averaging 33.7 ppg (2nd in NBA) so far this series. After averaging 17.2 ppg in the regular season, Brooks is averaging 27.0 ppg so far this series. Here are the top 10 leaps in scoring average among the postseason’s top 50 scorers:
|Player||Team||PTS Playoffs||PTS Season||PTS Increase|
• Clutch time is defined as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with the score within five points. With exactly five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 3, Memphis’ Ja Morant made two free throws to give the Grizzlies their first lead of the game at 107-105. The Jazz responded by outscoring Memphis 14-2 run over the next 3 1/2 minutes to build their lead back to 10 points and put the game away. During clutch time of that stretch, Utah got six points from Donovan Mitchell and four points from Rudy Gobert on 4-4 shooting combined.
• Mike Conley matched his career-high with seven 3-pointers and finished with 27 points in his first playoff game back in Memphis – where he spent his entire career before being traded to Utah prior to last season. His playoff return went much better than his regular season return to Memphis back on Nov. 15, 2019 when he scored just 15 points on 5-19 shooting.
• In Memphis’ Game 1 win, Dillon Brooks played 36 minutes, finished with 31 points and only two personal fouls. In Games 2 and 3 combined he has picked up 11 personal fouls, limiting him to 30.5 minutes per game in two losses. How important is it for Brooks to stay out of foul trouble and stay on the court? He leads the team in raw plus/minus (+11) and the Grizzles have been 35.1 points per 100 possessions better with Brooks on court (plus-6.9 net rating in 97 minutes) than when he’s off court (minus-28.2 net rating in 47 minutes).
• After missing the final 16 games of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs with a sprained right ankle, Donovan Mitchell has continued to work his way back to form over the past two games. In the second half of Game 3, Mitchell scored 20 points in 18 minutes – his highest scoring half of the series (14 in 1st half of Game 2, 13 in 2nd half of Game 2, 9 in 1st half of Game 3, 20 in 2nd half of Game 3).