Week 8 Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
Get ready for Thursday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to watch for in each matchup. The action tips off with the Los Angeles Lakers (8-15) in Philadelphia looking to snap five-game skid and pick up just their third road win in 11 tries when they face the 76ers (13-10). In the nightcap, the Houston Rockets (18-4) go for their eighth straight win when they face the Utah Jazz (13-12), who are 11-4 at home.
Los Angeles Lakers (8-15) at Philadelphia 76ers (13-10), 8:00 ET, TNT
- Joel Embiid is one of only four players to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season. He leads that group in blocks (1.8 per game) and plus/minus (plus-4.2 per game).
- The Sixers lead the NBA in rebound percentage (53.5%) thanks in large part to their success on the offensive glass (26.9 OREB%, 2nd in NBA). Philadelphia takes advantage of those extra opportunities with an average of 15.1 second chance points per game, which ranks 2nd in the NBA.
- The Lakers lead all teams in points in the paint (54.5 per game) despite not having a single player ranked in the top 30 individually. The young trio of Kyle Kozma (31st), Julius Randle (32nd) and Brandon Ingram (34) each average over eight points in the paint per game. The Sixers have two players ranked in the top 11 - Ben Simmons (4th at 14.0) and Joel Embiid (11th at 10.8).
- Expect an up-and-down game between these two teams as they both rank in the top four in pace. The Lakers lead the pack at 105.32 possessions per 48 minutes, with the Sixers not far behind in fourth with a pace of 104.02.
- The Lakers are at their best in transition, ranking second in the NBA in fast break points (15.3 per game). The Sixers rank 26th at just 8.6 fast break points per game.
Houston Rockets (18-4) at Utah Jazz (13-12), 10:30 ET, TNT
- The Rockets are the only team in the NBA to rank in the top five in both offensive (112.4 OffRtg, 2nd) and defensive (100.9 DefRtg, 5th) efficiency this season.
- Both the Rockets and Jazz thrive on their opponents’ mistakes as both teams rank in the top four in points off turnovers per game. Utah ranks second at 19.8 points per game, while the Rockets are fourth at 19.5 per game.
- Utah continues to work Rudy Gobert back into the mix after the center missed four weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee. In his first two games back, Gobert has played a total of 48 minutes and scored just nine points on 3-6 shooting, while grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking three shots.
- The Rockets average 44.0 3-point attempts per game, which is 10.1 more attempts than the second-ranked Brooklyn Nets (33.9 3PA/gm). That gap between top two ranked teams is greater than the gap between second place and 27th place (Portland, 24.2).
- Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell ranks second among rookies in scoring at 17.2 points per game, trailing only Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons (18.0). Over his last five games, Mitchell is averaging 26.6 points on 52.3 percent shooting from the field and 46.7 percent from beyond the arc.