The Five Numbers Worth Tracking
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Author: Kevin L. Chouniard (@KLChouinard)
It's about that time in an NBA season where it's time to look at the accumulated stats from over the course of the young season. Trends are developing; some will hold over the long term and others will fade, but it is the right moment to begin to take a peek at what has happened to this point in the 2018-19 NBA regular season. The Hawks and their players have racked up some impressive numbers.
Pace: New head coach Lloyd Pierce has emphasized a faster pace of play ever since he arrived in Atlanta, and his efforts are already paying dividends. The Hawks lead the NBA in pace – 108.6 possessions per 48 minutes.
Points per game and assists per game, rookies: Highlighted by a scintillating 35-point, 11-assist effort in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Trae Young leads all rookies in points per game (19.8) and assists per game (6.8). It's not new territory for Young; last season, he became the first NCAA player in Division I history to lead the nation in scoring and assists.
Three-point percentage, rookies: Among rookies with enough attempts to qualify for the NBA three-point percentage leaderboard, Omari Spellman ranks second (45.5 percent) and Kevin Huerter sits close behind in fifth place (41.7 percent).
Defensive rating, teams: The Hawks have been stingy to this point in the season. They currently rank seventh in defensive rating among the league's 30 teams by yielding just 104.4 points per 100 possessions.
Steals per game: Don't get sloppy with the ball around DeAndre' Bembry. He will swipe it. In averaging 2.0 steals per game, Bembry currently sits tied in seventh place among the NBA's steals leaders. He also holds 12th place on the three-point percentage leaderboard (53.8 percent).