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The Tip Off – January 16, 2020 Recap

Miss your NBA fix last night? In three minutes or less, TDC’s The Tip Off gives you the brief rundown of the standout stat lines, exciting finishes and some rarities that went down on the hardwood last night. On a busy evening where you miss the live action and/or the scintillating thrill of NBA Twitter scrolling, we have done the work for you and compiled notable lines and events.

Spend three minutes reading this every day to keep up with the Association and have enough knowledge and nuggets to be in the loop with casual fans as well as the ability to toss out a few specific stats and oddities an avid fan may have missed.

B-ball Date: 1/16/2020 as reported by Aram Hanessian, video by Sam Shin

Honor Roll

  • Absolutely wild ending to regulation in New Orleans as Brandon Ingram hit what seemed like a game-winner with .2 seconds left, only to have Jaxon Hayes foul Rudy Gobert on the ensuing possession. Either way, both Ingram and Donovan Mitchell deserve shoutouts. Mitchell had 46 points, but it was Ingram who really stole the show. He had a career-high 49 points on 15/25 shooting, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in the Pelicans’ 138-132 overtime win.
  • Deandre Ayton has struggled this year with his efficiency, ranking in just the 43rd percentile among bigs in eFG% per Cleaning the Glass; however, a trip to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks can cure a lot of ills. Ayton had 26 points on 11/15 shooting and added a career-high 21 rebounds in the Suns’ 121-98 blowout win over New York. Ayton’s 20/20 game was the first for Phoenix since Amare Stoudemire’s in December 2008. 
  • As great a career as she has had, last night was a special one for Sabrina Ionescu. Ionescu had a career-high 37 points and added 11 rebounds and 7 assists as Oregon beat Stanford 87-55. In addition to her big night, Ionescu set the Oregon school record for career points. 
  • Somewhat lost amongst Nikola Jokic’s fat and Michael Porter’s back is the fact that Will Barton is having a pretty good season. His usage is over 20%, his eFG% is above league average for a wing, his offensive and defensive rebounding rates are above the 90th percentile for a wing and the Nuggets have been 10.6 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor (per Cleaning the Glass). That continued last night, as Barton scored 31 points on 11/20 shooting, including 7/10 from deep to go with 7 assists and 5 boards in Denver’s 134-131 win at Golden State. 

Quirks of the Night

  • Before last night’s 128-123 loss in Milwaukee, the Celtics had won five straight games in which they had been behind by at least 15 points at the end of the 1st quarter. The streak dates back to November 10, 2017, when Boston overcame an 11-point 1st period deficit in Charlotte. The streak was the longest such streak in NBA history. 
  • This one is a little overcomplicated, but it was a slow night so I don’t have a lot of options. Ingram became just the third player in NBA history to score 49+ points on 25 or fewer shots before the age of 23. He joined fellow Laker greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal. 

Needs Improvement

  • Boston almost kept their streak alive as they twice cut leads of 20+ points to 6 points or less in the 2nd half. Gordon Hayward was not very helpful in the staging of those rallies, going 1/10 from the field, including 1/9 from 3. 
  • Last year, Khem Birch provided some nice efficient finishing and rebounding off the bench for the Magic, especially after Mo Bamba went down late in the season with an injury. This year, Birch isn’t really providing much of anything, especially after Jonathan Isaac went down with an injury. Birch has moved into the starting lineup and his usage is currently 9.1%, which is in the 4th percentile among all bigs. Last night against the Clippers, Birch took 0 shots in 19 minutes. It was the 10th time this season anybody has started, played at least 15 minutes and taken 0 shots. Birch is both the only repeat offender. 

NBA Twitter Table Talk

  • Klay Thompson was looking pretty good before the Warriors game, both physically and stylistically.
  • Bill Walton playing baseball went about as smoothly as could be expected.

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