Tune-In Tidbits: TNT/NBA TV Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Get ready for tonight's four Game 5s with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
• In the Wizards’ first win of the series, Russell Westbrook became the 11th player (and only the second guard) in NBA history to record a triple-double with 20+ rebounds in a playoff game (19 PTS, 21 REB, 14 AST). Westbrook is also averaging a triple-double throughout the first four games of the series with 17.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 12.3 apg.
• Joel Embiid exited Game 4 late in the first quarter with a knee injury; an MRI revealed a small meniscus tear that will keep Embiid out for Game 5 and have him listed as day-to-day moving forward. This season, the Sixers went 39-12 when Embiid played and just 10-11 when he was out.
• Tobias Harris is leading the Sixers during this series, averaging 24.3 ppg, including a team-high 21 points in their Game 4 loss. Rui Hachimura was the primary defender on Harris, guarding him for 7:06 (46.6% of Harris’ offensive matchup time) while only allowing five points (23.8%).
• In Game 4, the Wizards got a combined 32 points on 12-16 (75%) shooting from their young bigs Rui Hachimura and Daniel Gafford, with 11 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. Over the first three games, the duo combined for 24 points on 70% shooting.
• Robin Lopez scored 16 points in Game 4 on 8-11 shooting from the field, including 5-7 on hook shots. For the series, he is shooting 68.8% (11-16) on hooks after shooting 65.6% (147-224) during the regular season.
• Trae Young leads the Hawks in both scoring (27.5 ppg, 11th in playoffs) and assists (10.0 apg, 4th in playoffs) and has led Atlanta in both categories all four games. Young has also limited his turnovers; in Atlanta’s two wins he has committed just two turnovers per game, in their one loss he has five turnovers. Of the top 30 players in playoff usage rate, Young ranks third in assist/turnover ratio (3.64).
• Through the first four games of the series, the Hawks have been 55.6 points per 100 possessions better when Bogdan Bogdanovic is on the court (21.1 net rating in 143 minutes) than when he’s off the court (-34.5 net rating in 49 minutes). The Hawks have outscored the Knicks by 62 points with Bogdanovic on court and been outscored by 41 points when he’s off court.
• While Julius Randle has struggled for much of this series – his scoring (-7.3 ppg) and assists (-1.7 apg) are down through four games – he did have his best game in Game 4 with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. However, he did commit five turnovers and shoot just 36.8% (7-19) from the field.
• Can the Knicks ride the Madison Square Garden energy to a win to extend their season and force a Game 6? During the regular season, the Knicks were 25-11 at home and averaged 109.3 points per game (4.5 ppg higher than on the road). Through the first four games of this series, the Knicks have averaged just 99 ppg – the third-lowest average among any playoff team.
• The Hawks shot 15-39 from 3-point range in their Game 4 win; they are 15-2 this season (regular season and playoffs combined) when making at least 15 3-pointers in a game.
• The Jazz had four players hit at least three shots from beyond the arc (Bojan Bogdanovic 3-5, Royce O’Neale 3-5, Mike Conley 3-4, Jordan Clarkson 4-9), and shot 50% (17-34) as a team in Game 4. The Jazz have made at least 17 3-pointers in a game 38 times this season – including all three wins in this series – and are 32-8 in those games.
• The Jazz have led at the end of the first quarter in each game of the series, with an average advantage of 7.8 points. After losing first quarters by seven, nine and 12 points in the first three games, Memphis kept it close in Game 4 and trailed 34-31. The Grizzlies would again play from behind for much of the game, opening the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run to get close, but Utah was able to fend them off.
• Donovan Mitchell had 30 points in Game 4 – his highest scoring game of the series – but shot just 8-22 from the field. He finished 12-13 from the free throw line, hitting all six of his attempts in the fourth quarter as the Jazz held off a late rally from the Grizzlies. Mitchell’s scoring has risen with each game (25, 29, 30) since he made his debut in Game 2, but over the past few games he has shot just 17-45 (37.8%) from the field and 4-17 (23.5%) from 3-point range.
• Dillon Brooks has been the primary defender on Mitchell the three games he’s played in the series, guarding him for about a third of his offensive matchup time each game. Mitchell scored 13 on Brooks in Game 2, but Brooks has held Mitchell to six and seven points in Games 2 and 3, respectively.
• Ja Morant had his lowest scoring game of the series (21 points) in Game 4, but did dish out 12 assists (a career-high in his four playoff games). This was only the fourth loss in 16 games this season when Morant had double-digit assists. Morant is shooting just 5-22 (22.7%) from beyond the arc and 39-69 (56.5% on 2-point shots in this series. During the regular season, Morant shot 30.3% from three and 49.9% inside the arc.
• Luka Doncic (33.3) and Kawhi Leonard (33.0) rank second and third, respectively, in scoring during the playoffs. Kawhi trails Luka in scoring by 0.3 ppg, but is averaging 7.5 fewer shot attempts per game. Kawhi is shooting 62.7% from the field, 47.6% from 3-point range and 87.5% from the free throw line. His 74.1 true shooting percentage ranks fourth among the 80 players with at least 30 shot attempts in the playoffs, trailing only Deandre Ayton (77.5), James Harden (76.1) and Joel Embiid (75.1).
• Luka Doncic played through an injured neck to log 36 minutes and score a team-high 19 points in Dallas’ Game 4 loss. It was Doncic’s first game with fewer than 30 points in the series and just the 10th time this season (regular season and playoffs combined) that Luka has scored fewer than 20 points.
• The Clippers made the adjustment to start Nic Batum in place of Ivica Zubac and the numbers show how effective that move has been thus far. The five-man lineup of Batum, Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr., Kawhi Leonard and Reggie Jackson has an offensive rating of 119.1 and net rating of 10.4 in 34 minutes on the court together. The five-man lineup that swaps in Zubac for Batum has an offensive rating of 95.8 and net rating of -44.2 in 12 minutes on court together.
• The disparity in 3-point shooting between Dallas’ two wins (17.5 3-pointers made per game on 50% shooting) and two losses (12.5 3-pointers made per game on 36.2% shooting) is glaring. The Mavericks have still been generating open shots (29.5 open 3PA in losses, 30.5 in wins), they just are not knocking them down at the same rate (39.0% in losses, 49.2% in wins).
• In their Game 4 win, the Clippers outscored the Mavericks 17-4 on fast break points, led by Kawhi Leonard’s 12. For the series, the Clippers hold an 11.5 ppg to 3.3 ppg advantage on fast breaks, with Kawhi’s 6.5 ppg leading all players and nearly doubling the Mavericks fast break singlehandedly.