HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — It’s Fan Night on NBA TV, and we’ve got the Hawks and Heat at 7:30 p.m. ET from Miami.
The Heat are looking to extend their win streak to 19 games as they’ve clearly established themselves as the best team in the league. Plus, they’ve have been able to check off every team in the league as a team they’ve beaten this season.
Of their 18 straight wins, nine have come against teams with winning records. And after Sunday’s win over the Pacers, the Heat are now a strong 18-7 against other Eastern Conference playoff teams. The Hawks, meanwhile, are just 6-11 against other East playoff teams, with defense being the biggest issue.
Games played between East playoff teams
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions
Getting stops will certainly be an issue on Tuesday, when the Hawks play a team that has scored a ridiculous 113.9 points per 100 possessions over the last 18 games.
In general, games between East playoff teams have been pretty ugly. Offenses have barely averaged a point per possession, and the games have played at a pretty slow pace: 92.2 possessions per team per 48 minutes. The average score of the 78 games has been 95-92.
Games played between the top nine teams in the West have been faster (97.5 possessions per team per 48 minutes) and more efficient. The average score has been 106-101.
The Denver Nuggets have done the best in those games, while the Lakers have struggled, especially defensively…
Games played between top nine teams in West
The Lakers play six more games against the other teams in the West’s top nine. That includes five of their last seven games of the season.