Philadelphia 76ers (11-11) at Atlanta Hawks (12-10), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
• The Hawks lead the league in pick and roll ball handler possessions per game, averaging 26.4 points per 27.7 pick and roll possessions. Trae Young leads the league in points off of these possessions, scoring 15.0 of the Hawks 26.4 pick and roll points per game. Young is also tied for third in assists off the drive by averaging 2.3 per game on 19.4 drives per game (also third in the league).
• The Sixers won the first meeting with the Hawks 122-94 on Oct. 30 as Tobias Harris (22 points, 11 rebounds) led six Sixers in double-figure points in the win. Philadelphia held Trae Young to a season-low 13 points, with Tyrese Maxey defending Young for a team-high 7:25 (57.7% of Young’s offensive matchup time) and holding Young to eight points on 3-9 shooting.
• The Hawks (12.3%) and Sixers (12.7%) rank first and third, respectively, in lowest turnover percentage so far this season. The Sixers allow the fewest opponent points off turnovers (14.2), while the Hawks rank fifth (14.9). Can the Sixers defense, which ranks 10th in steals at 8.1 per game, force the Hawks into uncharacteristic turnovers? Atlanta’s defense averages only 6.8 steals per game (28th in NBA).
• Trae Young enters Friday ranked fourth in the league in scoring (26.3 ppg) and third in assists (9.1 apg). Between the points he scores himself (26.3) and the points he creates with his assists (22.7, 2nd in NBA), Young is directly involved in a league-high 49.0 of his team’s average points per game (110.5).
• Joel Embiid has been one of the top post-up threats since he entered the league in 2016-17. He has led the league in post-up scoring three times and never finished below third. He leads the NBA in post-up touches (9.3 per game) and post-up points (5.0 ppg) so far this season, but those numbers are currently both career-lows. He is currently averaging 0.536 points per post-up touch this season, compared to 0.698 last season.
Phoenix Suns (19-3) at Golden State Warriors (18-3), 10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
• Mikal Bridges defended Stephen Curry for a game-high 7:20 minutes, 52.5% of his offensive matchup time, in the Suns’ most recent win over Golden State on Nov 30. Bridges held Curry scoreless, allowing only three field goal attempts including one 3-point attempt. On the night, Curry matched his season-low with 12 points and shot a season-low 19% from the field (4-21).
• In Tuesday’s loss to Phoenix, Stephen Curry posted the first game of his career where he attempted at least 20 shots and show lower than 20%. He did still make three 3-pointers to extend his streak of games with at least one 3-pointer made to 145 games, a run that dates back to Dec. 1, 2018. The next longest streak belongs to OKC’s Luguentz Dort at 36 games.
• Phoenix set a franchise record with their 18th straight win on Thursday against Detroit. The Suns enter Friday looking to become only the eighth team since the 1983-84 season to win 19 consecutive games – and the first to do so since the Warriors won 28 straight spanning the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons (including 24 in a row to open 2015-16).
• The Warriors (29.1 apg) and Suns (26.2 apg) rank first and fourth, respectively, in assists per game on the season. While the Warriors rank second in passes per game (316.6), the Suns rank 29th (262.4). Phoenix leads the NBA in assist-to-pass percentage with 10.0% of their passes resulting in an assist; Golden State is fourth (9.2%).
• The Suns (10-1) rank second to Washington (11-1) for the best record in the NBA in games featuring clutch time – score within five points in final five minutes. In 30 total minutes of clutch time this season, the Suns have outscored their opponents by 45 points; as a team, Phoenix has shot 65.2% (32-49) from the field, 50% (7-14) from 3-point range and 71.8% (28-39) from the free-throw line in close games.