Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Clippers at Pelicans (1/18/20)
A look at three key numbers related to Saturday’s game at the Smoothie King Center between the LA Clippers and New Orleans (2:30 p.m. Central, ABC, ESPN Radio New Orleans 100.3 FM):
11: Years since New Orleans played a regular season game on ABC’s airwaves, dating back to a Sunday afternoon game in April 2009, when the then-Hornets hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Easter. The Pelicans have been on ABC a couple times in recent years, but only during Western Conference playoff series against star-studded Golden State. Saturday’s game is actually the first of two scheduled ABC broadcasts for the Pelicans in 2019-20, with the latter occurring at Houston on Super Bowl Sunday. New Orleans was granted a total of 30 games on national TV when the schedule was released back in August, but that number could end up climbing, because Wednesday’s Spurs-Pelicans game has already been added to ESPN’s docket. There may be other matchups joining the list, with No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson projected to make his regular season debut vs. San Antonio this week. The Clippers’ 38 national TV appearances on the schedule ranked them third in the NBA, behind only the Lakers (43) and Golden State (42). Incidentally, Chris Paul and David West led New Orleans with 31 points apiece during the franchise’s last regular season game on ABC; 30-year-old Dirk Nowitzki paced Dallas with 29 points.
9-3, 7-3: New Orleans and LA Clippers won-loss records since Dec. 23, respectively. The Pelicans and Clippers both rank among the league’s top 10 teams in winning percentage (through Thursday’s games) over the past three weeks, with New Orleans trailing only Milwaukee (10-2), Utah (10-2), the Lakers (9-2) during that span. One of the most notable aspects of the Pelicans’ recent success has been the level of competition, including wins over Denver, Indiana, Houston and Utah. In addition, this 12-game stretch has featured road trips to both coasts, but New Orleans is 5-2 in away games (4-1 at home, with the only defeat in Louisiana by two points vs. Utah on Jan. 6). Meanwhile, the Clippers’ recent schedule has been a bit more manageable on paper, featuring only three opponents currently above .500, but the first game during that 10-game stretch was a Christmas victory over the Lakers. Over the Pelicans’ last dozen games, they have a 4-3 record while facing teams that currently sport winning records.
103: Points scored by Brandon Ingram in the final seven seconds of the shot clock this season, as measured by NBA.com. One reason New Orleans was excited about acquiring Ingram in a trade last summer was his ability to create his own shot off the dribble, a skill that is greatly needed in a sport that uses a 24-second clock. Highlighted by his go-ahead jumper with 0.2 seconds left in regulation vs. Utah during Thursday’s overtime win, Ingram has a combination of height, length, athleticism and skill that allows him to get his shot off easily in many situations. He ranks in the top 40 among all NBA players in 2019-20 in the total points he’s scored in the final four seconds of the shot clock (40), as well as in the range between 4 and 7 seconds (63 points, which is tied for 20th). Perhaps not surprisingly, Houston’s James Harden’s 85 points in the final four seconds of the shot clock is the most by any NBA player this season, followed by Boston’s Jayson Tatum (83) and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (81). Jrue Holiday is tied for 25th in the league in the very-late category, with 46 points tallied.