The Philadelphia 76ers welcome the Charlotte Hornets back to town on Friday night as they look to win their second straight in the season series. Both teams are barely hovering over the .500 mark early in the season, but the Hornets weren't exactly expected to be among the top teams in the East. The Sixers, on the other hand, were projected to be in the same conversation as the Celtics and Raptors. Instead, Philly, which has looked sluggish at times, sits at 7-5 on the season.
Despite a slow start, the Sixers are winners of three out of their last four games and defeated the Indiana Pacers in their last game earlier this week. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons led the way in a 100-94 triumph over a Pacers team that should reach the postseason once again. The Hornets also find themselves in a very similar boat as they've won three of their last four contests with the latest coming in a 113-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Kemba Walker has been one of the most exciting players to watch in the early portion of the season and is averaging 28.1 points entering Friday's game.
Despite the difference in expectations, both teams come into the game with similar records, and it should be competitive from the start. In the first meeting, the Hornets gave the 76ers all they could handle in a 105-103 game that wasn't decided until late in the fourth.
Here's how to watch the game and a few things to keep an eye on.
- Date: Friday, Nov. 9
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Wells Fargo Center -- Philadelphia
- TV: NBA TV
- Streaming: fuboTV (free trial - NBA League Pass add-on available)
- Live stats: GameTracker
Odds and analysis
Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
Hornets: The Hornets have gone smaller and faster with first-year head coach James Borrego at the helm this season, and so far it has them in playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte has bumped up its pace from 98.74 last year to 101.05 this season, which has helped Kemba Walker emerge as a potential MVP candidate. Walker comes into Friday's game averaging career-highs in points, 3-point percentage and field goal percentage, and will look to continue the Hornets' solid start.
76ers: After the way they finished last season, the young 76ers had plenty of expectations heading into the 2018-19 campaign, and so far they've slightly disappointed. Joel Embiid is playing out of his mind, but questions about fit between him and fellow franchise cornerstone Ben Simmons continue to abound. Further, the Markelle Fultz experiment has thus far been a dud, and we'll have to wait and see if head coach Brett Brown decides to pull him from the starting lineup.
Game prediction, pick
The Sixers are undefeated at home, and that shouldn't change after Friday's game. The Hornets have enough firepower to hang, but ultimately Philly is just too talented. Give me the Hornets to cover, but the Sixers to win.