NBA News 2020-21: It will be Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks vs New Orleans Pelicans on Friday’s ESPN Doubleheader. Here are some key stats about the matchups as we will see Zion Williamson go up against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic take on Rudy Gobert.
Bucks (11-6) vs Pelicans (6-10)
- Zion Williamson (8.1 per game) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (7.2 per game) rank 1-2 in field goals made inside five feet so far this season. Giannis is shooting 75.2% (115-153) at the basket, which ranks second among the 22 players with at least 100 attempts inside five feet. Williamson is shooting 61.0% (122-200), which ranks 13th in that group.
- With each team having a dominant force scoring at the basket, rim protection will be paramount in this matchup. The Bucks rank second in rim protection, allowing opponents to shoot 58.5% at the basket. The Pelicans rank 30th, allowing 68.8% shooting at the basket.
- The Bucks (22.6) and Pelicans (16.5) have both excelled in the first quarter of play, ranking first and second, respectively, in net rating in the game’s first 12 minutes. The second quarter has been a different story for the Pelicans as their net rating drops to minus-19.8 (30th), while the Bucks remain in the top five at 8.7.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is drawing a career-best 10.1 free throw attempts per game (3rd in NBA) but is shooing a career-low 58.4% from the free-throw line so far this season.
- Brandon Ingram enters Friday coming off back-to-back 30-point games; if he reaches 30 tonight it would be the first time in his career with three straight 30-point games. He is shooting 59.0% from the field, 47.4% from three, and 100% from the free-throw line over the past two games.
Mavericks (8-10) vs Jazz (14-4)
- The Jazz enters Friday riding a 10-game win streak; it is their longest win streak since winning 11 straight from Jan. 24 to Feb. 14, 2018. Utah’s longest win streak in 15 games, which they achieved twice (Nov. 13 to Dec 10, 1996, and March 12 to April 11, 1997).
- The Jazz earned win No. 10 of the streak (and may have to try to reach No. 11) without Donovan Mitchell, who is currently in concussion protocol. Without Mitchell against Dallas on Wednesday, Rudy Gobert was dominant with 29 points, 20 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. Andre Drummond is the only other player in the last 15 years to reach those numbers in a game.
- During the win streak, Utah is averaging 116.7 points (3rd in NBA over this stretch), 18.4 3-pointers made (1st), and is shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc (2nd). Utah’s average margin of victory during the streak is 15.3 points, and they have only one game decided by single digits.
- Luka Doncic not only leads the NBA in triple-doubles this season with six, but he is also close to averaging a triple-double through 17 games with 27.4 ppg, 9.4 RPG, and 9.7 APG.
- Doncic is tied with Ben Simmons and John Havlicek for 13th place all-time with 31 career triple-doubles. Doncic made the climb in just 150 career games, while Simmons has played 234 and Havlicek player 1,270 in his career.
- Utah’s Joe Ingles needs two 3-pointers to pass John Stockton (845) for first in franchise history. This season, Ingles is averaging 2.4 3PM per game and is shooting a career-best 44.7% from beyond the arc (17th in NBA).