Monday, 15 Jul 2024

6 NBA Things to Know for January 6

Joel Embiid

The world of NBA continues to provide exciting matchups and captivating storylines. Here are six key things to know for January 6th.

Thunder and Sixers Heading in Opposite Directions

The Thunder have staged an impressive winning streak, triumphing in their last five games and positioning themselves just 4 1/2 games behind the No. 4-seeded LA Clippers. In contrast, the Sixers have experienced a recent slump, losing four consecutive games and sliding down to 1 1/2 games behind No. 4 in the East. The two teams are set to clash tonight in Philly (7 ET, NBA TV), and the numbers speak for themselves. Since Christmas Day, the Thunder have excelled defensively, ranking seventh in Defensive Rating and displaying prowess in clutch situations with a perfect 4-0 record and an impressive 126.8 Offensive Rating.

Nets Seeking to End Skid

The Brooklyn Nets have faced a challenging period, with Kyrie Irving potentially requiring surgery on his troublesome right shoulder. On top of that, they suffered a resounding home defeat against the Raptors over the weekend. As they travel to Orlando (7 ET, League Pass), the Nets aim to end their five-game losing streak. However, they will have to do so without Caris LeVert, who has been ruled out of the game. Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have shown improvement in recent matches, winning four of their last six games and receiving standout performances from Khem Birch and Terrence Ross.

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Pelicans Pose a Test for Warming Jazz

Utah Jazz has achieved winning streaks of six games in each of the past five seasons. They are on the brink of repeating this feat as they face the New Orleans Pelicans (8 ET, League Pass), who have also displayed improvement lately. The Pelicans have won six of their last eight matches and rank No. 4 in Defensive Rating during this period. Additionally, they sit in the top 5 for Net Rating and Rebound Percentage. However, the Jazz may receive a stroke of luck tonight as star guard Jrue Holiday is questionable due to a left elbow contusion. Holiday has been instrumental for the Pelicans, averaging 20 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.6 assists over the last eight games.

Bucks Falling in Love with 3-Pointers

The Milwaukee Bucks have fallen head over heels for the three-point shot this season. Currently ranking third in the NBA in both 3-pointers made and attempted, as well as third in 3-point frequency, the Bucks are unlikely to veer away from their long-range strategy. They face the San Antonio Spurs (8:30 ET, League Pass) in search of their sixth consecutive victory. The Spurs have struggled to limit their opponents’ three-point attempts, currently sitting at 20th in the league in this regard. In their recent loss to the Bucks, San Antonio allowed Milwaukee to hoist a staggering 45 three-pointers.

Kings Fading Fast

After defeating the Warriors on December 15th, the Sacramento Kings held the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference with a record of 12-14. However, their fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since then. With nine losses in their last ten games, the Kings’ hopes of a playoff run are rapidly diminishing. Despite only losing one game by more than 15 points during this stretch (a 105-87 defeat to the LA Clippers on December 31st), they have struggled on both ends of the court.

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25 Years Since Lenny Wilkens’ Milestone

On January 6th, 1995, Lenny Wilkens, then coach of the Hawks, surpassed Red Auerbach on the all-time wins list with his 939th career victory. Since then, nine other coaches have gone on to surpass Auerbach’s mark, including coaching legends such as Bill Fitch, Rick Adelman, Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, George Karl, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan, Gregg Popovich, and Don Nelson. Today, we pay homage to Lenny Wilkens and the significance of his achievement.

FAQs

Q: What is the significance of the Thunder and Sixers matchup?
A: The Thunder have been on a winning streak, while the Sixers are grappling with a four-game slump. The outcome of this game could have a direct impact on their respective standings.

Q: How has the Nets’ recent form been affected?
A: The Nets are currently enduring a five-game losing streak, with the potential loss of Kyrie Irving to surgery further complicating matters for the team.

Q: Can the Pelicans continue their recent success against the Jazz?
A: The Pelicans have shown significant improvement, winning six of their last eight games. However, the potential absence of Jrue Holiday could hinder their chances against the Jazz.

Summary

The NBA action on January 6th promises excitement and surprises. The Thunder and Sixers clash as two teams heading in opposite directions, while the Nets aim to halt their losing streak without key players. The Jazz test their winning streak against the resurgent Pelicans, and the Bucks rely on their love for three-pointers against the Spurs. The Kings’ playoff hopes fade, and we commemorate Lenny Wilkens’ milestone 25 years ago. Stay tuned for more thrilling NBA action!

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