Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Thursday, April 15, 2021
Get ready for Thursday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Bucks (34-20) at Hawks (30-25)
7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
• Milwaukee won the first meeting of the season with Atlanta, 129-115 on Jan. 24, behind a big game from Giannis Antetokounmpo (27 pts, 14 reb, 8 ast), who has missed the past six games with left knee soreness. Milwaukee improved to 3-3 without Giannis on Wednesday with a 130-105 win over Minnesota.
• In six games without Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have been led by Khris Middleton (21.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.4 apg) and Jrue Holiday (20.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 4.8 rpg). This season, the Bucks have outscored their opponents by 172 points in the 666 minutes that Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Holiday have shared the court. In the 358 minutes with Giannis off the court, the Bucks have outscored their opponents by just eight points.
• Trae Young is one of four players to rank in the top 15 in both scoring (14th, 25.4 ppg) and assists (3rd, 9.5 apg). The others are Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic and LeBron James. Young has missed the past two games for the Hawks and is listed as questionable for Thursday.
• The Hawks enter Thursday having won three straight and seven of their last eight games; they are tied with the Clippers for the top record in April (7-1). During this eight-game stretch, Bogdan Bogdanovic has averaged 21.8 points on 51.2%-53.0%-84.6% shooting splits. Clint Capela has averaged 19.9 points on 66.7% shooting, 14.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks while appearing in seven of the eight games.
• The Bucks allow the lowest field goal percentage on shots inside of six feet, holding opponents to 57.7% shooting, while the Hawks rank 10th (60.5% allowed). Brook Lopez ranks fifth in the league in rim protection, allowing opponents to shoot just 50.9% at the basket while he’s defending. Atlanta’s Clint Capela ranks eighth at 51.6% allowed.
Celtics (29-26) at Lakers (34-21)
10 p.m. ET, TNT
• The Lakers won the first meeting of the season with the Celtics, 96-85 on Jan. 30, behind a combined 48 points from Anthony Davis and LeBron James – both of whom will be out for Thursday’s game due to injuries. Since LeBron joined Davis on the sidelines on March 20, the Lakers have gone 6-8. While they miss the two All-Stars on offense – the Lakers rank 30th in scoring without them (102.2 ppg) – their defense has remained elite as they have allowed the third-fewest points of any team during the stretch (103.7 ppg).
• The Celtics enter Thursday riding a four-game win streak that has them sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference – with one full game separating them from the seventh seed (currently occupied by the Heat) and the Play-In Tournament. During this four-game run, Jayson Tatum has averaged 34.5 points on 52.3%-45.5%-91.7% shooting splits. Tatum’s scoring average got a bump from his career-best 53-point game on Apr. 9, but he has scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games – the longest active streak in the NBA.
• Since rejoining the Lakers on April 8, Andre Drummond is averaging 10.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 24.6 minutes over the past four games. Drummond has 20 double-doubles in 30 games played this season overall, including two in his first five games with the Lakers. His double-double rate of 66.7% ranks 10th in the league.
• The Celtics have played 19 games this season that have been decided by five points or less, which is tied for the second-most in the league behind only Portland with 20. Boston has gone 10-9 in those games. While the 10 wins is tied for the fourth-most behind a three-way tie for first between Brooklyn, Portland and Sacramento, the Celtics rank 12th in win percentage in such games (0.526). The Lakers have played in just 12 games decided by five points or less – tied for the fifth fewest in the league. They have gone 6-6 in those games. Four of the last six regular season meetings between the Celtics and Lakers have been decided by two points or less.
• The Celtics rank seventh in the league in points off turnovers (18.2 ppg). In the 14 games the Lakers have played since LeBron James joined Anthony Davis on the sidelines, they have averaged 17.9 turnovers per game (second most in the league) and 18.5 points off turnovers allowed (fifth most in the league).