Numbers preview: Philadelphia 76ers (3) vs. Brooklyn Nets (6)

NBA.com Global on Apr 13, 2019 07:55 PM
Numbers preview: 76ers (3) vs. Nets (6)
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By John Schuhmann, NBA.com

When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, they did it with the next two months in mind. Well, it's finally time to see if the Sixers' star-laden starting lineup is built for the postseason.The first test comes from the Brooklyn Nets, a team that is seemingly happy to be here.

A year ago, the Sixers appeared to be ahead of schedule, winning a playoff series after four years at or near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. That's where the Nets have resided the last three seasons. But the East is kind to teams looking to get better, and a 14-game improvement in the win column took the Nets from 12th to sixth and to the playoffs for the fourth time in the franchise's eight years in Brooklyn.

These two teams reside just 100 miles from each other, but it's been 35 years since the Nets and Sixers last met in the playoffs. And back in 1984, it was the New Jersey Nets who upset the defending champs in the 1st round.

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Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the 3-6 series in the East.

Philadelphia 76ers (51-31)

Pace: 102.6 (8)
OffRtg: 111.5 (8)
DefRtg: 108.9 (14)
NetRtg: +2.6 (11)

Sixers notes - General:

1. Were 10.2 points per 100 possessions better at home (plus-7.7, fourth in the league) than they were on the road (minus-2.5, 16th). That was the league's third biggest home-road NetRtg differential.

2. Were the league's fourth best first-quarter team, outscoring their opponents by 8.8 points per 100 possessions in the opening 12 minutes. And they got worse with each ensuing quarter (plus-2.7 in the second, plus-0.2 in the third and minus-0.9 in the fourth).

3. Had the the league's second best record (30-15) in games that were within five points in the last five minutes.

Sixers notes - Offense:

1. Ranked third in ball movement (367 passes per 24 minutes of possession), and second in player movement (11.8 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking.

2. Ranked second in the league with 16.8 elbow touches per game, and 8.2 percent of their possessions, the league's second highest rate, were hand-off possessions.

3. Only 3.5 percent of possessions, the league's lowest rate, were pick-and-roll roll-man possessions, according to Synergy play-type tracking.

Sixers notes - Defense:

1. Allowed 5.1 more points per 100 possessions than they did last season. That was the league's fourth biggest increase.

2. Saw the league's biggest increase in the percentage of opponent shots that came from the restricted area, from 28 percent (second lowest) last season to 34 percent (19th lowest) this season.

3. 17.3 percent of opponent possessions, the league's second highest opponent rate, were in transition.

4. One of three teams (the Nets and Clippers were the others) that rank in the top five in both opponent 3-point percentage (34.2 percent, fourth) and the (lowest) percentage of their opponent shots that came from 3-point range (33 percent, fourth). Also, only 18 percent of their opponents' 3-point attempts, the league's lowest rate, came from the corners.

Sixers notes - Lineups:

1. The Sixers' starting lineup - Simmons, Redick, Butler, Harris and Embiid - played in just 10 games together. It outscored its opponents by 17.6 points per 100 possessions in its 161 minutes, the fourth best mark among 66 lineups that played at least 150 minutes together. But Philly was just a plus-4.0 per 100 in 219 minutes with the other four starters on the floor without Embiid.

2. Best on-court NetRtg among two-man combinations (minimum 500 minutes together): Redick and Embiid. The Sixers outscored their opponents by 11.6 points per 100 possessions in 1,613 minutes with the pair on the floor together.

3. 30 percent of the Sixers' minutes came from rookies (11 percent) or second-year players (19 percent). That was the ninth highest rate in the league and highest among playoff teams.

Sixers notes - Individuals:

1. Jimmy Butler ranked fifth with 1.9 steals per game. He was one of three players (Tyus Jones and Kawhi Leonard were the others) that played at least 1,000 minutes and had more steals (123) than personal fouls (111).

2. Butler (3-for-4) was one of 13 players with at least three 3-pointers to tie or take the lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime. One of those was a game-winner in Brooklyn on Nov. 25.

3. Joel Embiid ranked second in the league in usage rate, using 32.3 percent of the Sixers' possessions (via shots, free throw attempts or turnovers) while he was on the floor.

4. Embiid ranked second in the league with 13.6 rebounds per game.

5. Embiid shot 31.1 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, the worst mark among players who attempted at least 200.

6. Tobias Harris shot 41.3 percent on pull-up 3-pointers, the second best mark among 69 players who attempted at least 100.

7. T.J. McConnell took only 35 percent of his shots from the restricted area or 3-point range. That was the third lowest rate among 274 players with at least 300 total field goal attempts.

8. J.J. Redick led the league with 5.7 points per game off hand-offs. His effective field goal percentage on hand-offs of 56.4 percent was the second highest among 21 players with at least 100 hand-off field goal attempts.

9. Redick took only 14 percent of his shots in the paint. That was the fifth lowest rate among 274 players with at least 300 total field goal attempts.

10. Ben Simmons led all guards with 4.4 post-ups per game and 13.3 points in the paint per game.

11. Simmons ranked second in passes made per game (66.5) and third with 260 assists on 3-pointers.

12. Simmons shot 13-for-28 (46 percent) on clutch free throws, the second worst mark among 57 players who attempted at least 20.

Brooklyn Nets (42-40)

Pace: 101.6 (11)
OffRtg: 108.8 (19)
DefRtg: 108.9 (15)
NetRtg: -0.1 (15)

Nets notes - General:

1. Only team in the league that had a winning record and a negative point differential.

2. One of two teams (Denver is the other) that have seen an improvement in point differential per 100 possessions in each of the last three seasons, going from minus-7.4 in 2015-16 to minus-0.1 this season.

3. Were the only team that was undefeated on any particular day of the week, going 5-0 on Tuesdays.

Nets notes - Offense:

1. Only team that scored less than a point per possession in transition.

2. Led the league with 30.9 points per game scored on drives.

3. Averaged 11.8 pull-up 3-point attempts per game, second most in the league.

4. Averaged a league-low 2.2 post-ups per game.

5. 43 percent of their points, the league's second highest rate, came from off the bench.

Nets notes - Defense:

1. Allowed 3.0 fewer points per 100 possessions after the All-Star break (106.8, fourth in the league) than they did before the break (109.8, 17th). That was the league's third biggest post-break, DefRtg improvement.

2. Allowed a league-high 21.6 points per game from pick-and-roll ball-handlers.

3. Allowed 14.4 second chance points per game, most among playoff teams.

Nets notes - Lineups:

1. Only playoff team that didn't have a lineup that played at least 200 minutes together. Most-used lineup - Russell, LeVert, Harris, Dudley and Allen - played 189 total minutes.

2. Scored just 101.4 points per 100 possessions in 753 minutes with Russell and Dinwiddie on the floor together, but 107.2 in 1,695 minutes with Russell on the floor without Dinwiddie and 106.3 in 1,161 minutes with Dinwiddie on the floor without Russell.

3. Best on-court NetRtg among two-man combinations (minimum 500 minutes together): Russell and Davis. The Nets outscored their opponents by 9.2 points per 100 possessions in 722 minutes with the pair on the floor together.

Nets notes - Individuals:

1. Opponents shot 55.2 percent at the rim when Jarrett Allen was there to protect it. That was the seventh best rim protection mark among 20 players, who defended at least five shots at the rim per game.

2. Ed Davis ranked third in both defensive rebounding percentage (30.7 percent) and total rebounding percentage (22.0 percent). He averaged 16.5 box outs per 36 minutes, most (by a wide margin) among 320 players that played at least 750 total minutes.

3. Davis took 99 percent of his shots from the paint. That was the second highest rate among 274 players with at least 300 total field goal attempts.

4. Spencer Dinwiddie (.430) and DeMarre Carroll (.421) rank sixth and eighth, respectively, in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) among non-bigs with at least 500 field goal attempts.

5. Dinwiddie ranked second in bench scoring, averaging 17.1 points per game in the 64 games he came off the bench.

6. Dinwiddie scored 1.05 points per possession on isolations, the fifth best mark among 51 players with at least 100 isolation possessions, according to Synergy play-type tracking.

7. Joe Harris led the league in 3-point percentage at 47.4 percent. The 48.1 percent he shot on catch-and-shoot threes was the best mark among 100 players who attempted at least 200. His effective field goal percentage of 62.2 percent was the best mark among non-bigs with at least 500 field goal attempts.

8. Rodions Kurucs averaged 8.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Both of those marks ranked second most among rookies who were drafted in the second round.

9. D'Angelo Russell ranked sixth in the league in usage rate, using 30.8 percent of the Nets' possessions (via shots, free throw attempts or turnovers) while he was on the floor.

10. Russell ranked second with 11.4 pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions per game. He scored 0.89 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the 26th best mark among 44 players that averaged at least five ball-handler possessions.

11. Russell had an effective field goal percentage of 53.2 percent with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, the fourth best mark among 45 players with at least 50 clutch field goal attempts. Russell (6-for-12), Dinwiddie (6-for-15) and Harris (5-for-9) were three of 21 players with at least five buckets to tie or take the lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime.

Regular season matchup

Season series: Series tied, 2-2 (1-1 in both locations)
Nov. 4 (Nov. 5, PHL time) @ Brooklyn - Nets 122, Sixers 97
Nov. 25 (Nov. 26, PHL time) @ Brooklyn - Sixers 127, Nets 125
Dec. 12 (Dec. 13, PHL time)  @ Philadelphia - Nets 127, Sixers 124
Mar. 28 (Mar. 29, PHL time) @ Philadelphia - Sixers 123, Nets 110

Pace: 103.0 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Philadelphia OffRtg: 114.6 (8th vs. Brooklyn)
Brooklyn OffRtg: 117.2 (3rd vs. Philadelphia)

Matchup notes:

1. The first meeting took place before the Sixers traded for Jimmy Butler, who also missed the Dec. 12 game (so the Sixers were 2-0 with Butler and 0-2 without him). Only the final meeting took place after Philly traded for Tobias Harris.

2. For Brooklyn, DeMarre Carroll missed the first meeting and Caris LeVert missed the middle two games. The only Brooklyn lineup that played more than nine minutes against the Sixers included Allen Crabbe, who is out for the playoffs.

3. The Nets' effective field goal percentage of 56.0 percent was the highest mark allowed by the Sixers against and Eastern Conference opponent.

4. The Sixers had 28 turnovers in 103 possessions in the Nov. 4 game. That (27.2 per 100) was the second highest turnover rate for any team in any game this season.

5. The 23.8 points per game Spencer Dinwiddie averaged were his second highest mark against any opponent this season. Dinwiddie and Joe Harris combined to shoot 21-for-36 from 3-point range over the four games.

6. Ben Simmons shot 27-for-39 in the restricted area and 2-for-14 outside it against Brooklyn.

7. The 120 points Joel Embiid scored (on 60 percent shooting) were the second most scored by any player against Brooklyn this season, one fewer than the 121 scored by Kemba Walker. He was one of two players with four double-doubles against the Nets and the 46 free throws he attempted were 18 more than any other player attempted vs. Brooklyn.

8. The Sixers were a plus-27 in 134 minutes with Embiid on the floor and a minus-40 in 58 minutes with Embiid off the floor.

9. The Sixers scored 151 points on 115 possessions (1.31 per) in which Jarrett Allen defended Embiid and 134 points on 113 possessions (1.19 per) in which Ed Davis defended Embiid. The Nets had more success with the 6-7 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on the seven-footer.

10. According to Synergy play-type tracking, the Nets played just eight possessions of zone over the four games. The Sixers scored 13 points on those eight possessions.

11. Butler was the primary defender on Russell in the two games that Butler played and Russell shot a lot more often with Butler defending him than he usually does.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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