Coming fresh off the All-Star break where we saw Team LeBron and Team Durant go head to head in a show of the finest hooping skills, the second half of the regular 2020-21 NBA season is in full swing. In this preview, we’ll take a look at what to expect in the games slated for Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
Clippers vs. Mavericks
The Los Angeles Clippers take on the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Centre starting at 9:30 pm EDT. Luka Doncic's Mavericks, 20-17 overall and 10-9 at home are 8th in the Western Conference. As for the team from LA, they have a 26-15 record and are 13-9 on the road. They hold the 4th position in the Western Conference. This will be the second game between the 2 sides in 3 days.
The Clippers won the first of the 2 matches on Monday by 109 to 99 points, avenging their 51 point loss to the Mavericks back in December. Judging from the recent form shown by the two teams, expect this game to be a close call that could swing either way. Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers however remain slight favorites to win here.
Doncic has shot 47.3% for the Mavericks. He averages 28.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game. Jalen Brunson has averaged 15.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 59.4% over the last 10 games.
Leonard has shot 51.5% for the Clippers. He averages 26.4 points per game. Paul George averages 5.3 assists per game. Ivica Zubac averages 7.0 rebounds per game. Over the last 10 games, Ivica Zubac has averaged 7.9 rebounds and 8.5 points per game.
The Mavericks are 7-3 in the last 10 games. They make 111.6, 42.8 rebounds, 24.3 assists, 6.3 steals, and 4.6 blocks per game while shooting 46.6% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 104.2 points per game against them this season.
The Clippers are 4-6 in their last 10 games. They make 115 points, 44.2 rebounds, 24.3 assists, 7.2 steals, and 4.4 blocks per game while shooting 48.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 109.7 per game.
Mavericks: James Johnson, Dwight Powell
Clippers: Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley
Bucks vs. 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks play the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Centre, Philadelphia, from 7 PM EDT. The 76ers are 1st in the Eastern Conference and are 27-12 overall and 17-3 at home. The Bucks are 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 25-14 overall and 10-9 on the road. This is going to be the first meeting between both championship aspiring teams this season. The 76ers have a 5-0 record in the last 5 matches and 8-2 in the last 10. The Bucks go into the match with a 4-1 record in the last 5 matches, and 9-1 in the last 10. Their slightly better form means that they are favorites to win here according to ESPN's Basketball Power Index.
For the 76ers, Joel Embiid leads the way with an average of 29.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. He has shot 52.5%. Ben Simmons averages 7.7 assists per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has shot 56.3% for the Bucks. He averages 29.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game.
The 76ers are 8-2 in the last 10 games. They average 115.8 points, 46.1 rebounds, 23.8 assists, 6.3 blocks, and 8.7 steals per game while shooting 48.3% from the field. They concede 110.4 points per game.
The Bucks are 9-1 in the last 10 games. They average 119.7 points, 48.2 rebounds, 26.1 assists, 4.9 blocks, and 8.1 steals per game while shooting 48.7 from the field. Their opponents average 112.6 points against them per game.
76ers: Joel Embiid
Bucks: No injury concerns
Nets vs. Pacers
The Indiana Pacers host the Brooklyn Nets at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, by 7 PM EDT. The Pacers, 17-21 overall and 7-11 at home are 10th in the Eastern Conference. They have lost all of their last 5 home games. The Nets, 27-13 overall and 11-7 on the road are second on the Eastern Conference standings. They have won all of their last 5 games and are heavy favorites to win here. This will be the second meeting between both teams this season. The Nets won the first 104-94 with Kyrie Irving scoring a game-high 35 points for the Nets.
For the Pacers, Malcolm Brogdon has shot 45.6% and averages 21.6 points per game. Domantas Sabonis averages 11.2 rebounds per game. And T.J. McConnell averages 6.3 assists per game.
For the Nets, Kyrie Irving has shot 52% and scores an average of 27.6 points per game. He also averages 5.8 assists per game. Over the last 10 games, James Harden has averaged 26.4 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting 46.5%.
The Pacers have lost 7 of their last 10 games. They average 112.5 points, 41.7 rebounds, 6.0 blocks, 8.6 steals, and 26.5 assists per game. They concede an average of 112.5 points per game.
The Nets have won 9 of the last 10 games. They average 120.5 points, 44.0 rebounds, 27.0 assists, 5.4 blocks, and 6.4 steals per game. Their field goal percentage is 50.1%. Their opponents score 115.3 points against them per game on average.
Pacers: TJ Warren, Jeremy Lamb
Nets: Blake Griffin, Spencer Dinwiddie, Kevin Durant
IMAGE CREDIT - BBC.CO.UK