By John Schuhmann, NBA.com
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat hold the top two seeds, but six Eastern Conference teams had better records after the All-Star break. Two of those teams will meet in the 4-5 series.
The Chicago Bulls have once again overcome the loss of Derrick Rose. But they’ve also been better since trading Luol Deng than they were before. The Washington Wizards have been solid all season, ending a five year playoff drought with a top-10 defense and one of the league’s most improved offenses.
Here are some statistical nuggets regarding the 4 and 5 seeds in the East, as well as the three regular-season games they played against each other.
Chicago Bulls (48-34)
Pace: 92.7 (28)
OffRtg: 99.7 (28)
DefRtg: 97.8 (2)
NetRtg: +1.9 (12)
- The only defense that allowed less than a point per possession in every quarter.
- Their DefRtg was almost exactly the same after the Deng trade (97.9) as it was before the trade (97.8). Their OffRtg improved 5.7 points per 100 possessions, but still ranked in the bottom five.
- Worst shooting team in the league, with an effective field goal percentage of 47.1 percent.
- Ranked second in assist rate (first after the All-Star break), assisting on 65.4 percent of their field goals.
- Their starting lineup, with Carlos Boozer at power forward, scored just 97.9 points per 100 possessions in 681 minutes. Their next two most-used lineups (which included reserves D.J. Augustin and Taj Gibson) scored 111.2 in 438 minutes.
Washington Wizards (44-38)
Pace: 95.5 (19)
OffRtg: 103.3 (18)
DefRtg: 102.4 (10)
NetRtg: +0.9 (15)
- John Wall led the league with a time of possession of 7.8 minutes per game.
- Wall led the league with 247 assists on 3-pointers, 51 more than any other player. All but 10 of them went to Trevor Ariza (109), Bradley Beal (71) or Martell Webster (57).
- Ariza led the league with 81 corner threes, 47 from the right corner and 34 from the left.
- Before the Andre Miller trade, they scored 92.8 points per 100 possessions with Wall off the floor. After the Miller trade, they scored 108.6.
- Outscored their opponents by 10.0 points per 100 possessions in 983 minutes with both Nene and Marcin Gortat on the floor.
- Augustin (11-for-22) and Kirk Hinrich (5-for-10) each shot 50 percent from 3-point range over the three games. But Augustin shot just 5-for-20 on 2-pointers.
- Ariza shot just 8-for-24 against the Bulls and hit just one corner 3-pointer in the three meetings.
- The Wizards won the two games in which Nene played, but he was a minus-8 (plus-2 in the first meeting, minus-10 in the second) and shot 7-for-18 in the paint.
- Gortat had more success (9-for-13) against Joakim Noah‘s defense than Nene did (6-for-17).
- See more exclusive SportVU matchup data here.