Who?: Atlanta Hawks (6th in East) vs. Indiana Pacers (5th in East)
When?: March 6, 2012; 7:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Where?: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
How?: SportSouth HD (TV) & 680 AM (93.7 radio)
FanSided’s Indiana Pacers Blog : Always Miller Time
Projected Starting Lineups:
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kirk Hinrich | C: Zaza Pachulia | PF: Josh Smith | SF: Marvin Williams
PG: Darren Collison | SG: Paul George | C: Roy Hibbert | PF: David West | SF: Danny Granger
Atlanta: Al Horford (left pectoral surgery), Jason Collins (sprained left elbow), and Joe Johnson (knee tendinitis) are out. Jerry Stackhouse (illness), Tracy McGrady (knee) and Willie Green (back) are game time decisions.
Indiana: Jeff Foster (back) is out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold:
Records: The Atlanta Hawks are (22-15) and the Indiana Pacers are (23-13).
Streak: The Hawks are riding a 2 game winning streak, and the Pacers are on a 1 game losing streak.
Away/Home: The Hawks are (10-9) on the road, and the Pacers are (11-4) at home.
Against .500+ teams: The Atlanta Hawks are (8-12) and the Indiana Pacers are (10-12) against teams with winning records.
Atlanta Hawks- Hot. Despite having a lot of key players out the last two games, the Hawks have still managed to win their last 2 games. To do it against a tough Milwaukee Bucks team and an even tougher Oklahoma City Thunder team, you have to call them “hot” right now.
Indiana Pacers- Simmering down? The Indiana Pacers are coming into this game with a one game losing streak as they got blown out by the Chicago Bulls last night. However, before that loss, the Indiana Pacers were on a 6 game winning streak. Granted, none of the 6 games were against winning record teams, but the Pacers did win by a good margin in almost all of them.
Season/Past Season Series:
This will be third time the two teams have faced each other this season. So far, they’ve split the season series 1-1, with both teams winning one game in their home court.
Tonight will be the deciding game on which team will win the regular season series. The last time the Atlanta Hawks lost a season series against the Pacers was during the 2007-2008 season, when the Indiana Pacers won 2 of the 3 games.
The Hawks have won 10 of the last 12 meetings against the Pacers.
The Atlanta Hawks will begin their six game road trip tonight against the Indiana Pacers, and it will certainly not be a cake walk.
The Indiana Pacers have been a really solid team this season, and they look like a legit playoff team. They’ve played great at home, and they’ve also shown that they are capable of winning on the road. The Pacers have been tough against almost every team this season, and they will almost certainly be a tough out when the playoffs come around.
But for tonight, the Hawks will certainly have their hands full. With a lot of key players still out, the Hawks will rarely ever be the favorite to win a game, and nothing changes with this one. Almost every part of my brain is telling me that the Pacers will win this one, but of course, there’s that little part in my brain that’s telling me that the Hawks will win.
As the win on Friday (vs. OKC Thunder) confirmed, you can never count out the Hawks.
3 Things I’m Looking Out For:
- Josh Smith. A lot of the pressure will be on Josh Smith’s shoulders tonight. He’s the last and lone team captain standing, so a good performance by him is definitely needed. If Josh has a bad game, I can’t imagine the Hawks even having a shot on winning. He has to limit the jump shots he takes, and play to his strengths tonight. I know that it’s a lot to ask for Josh Smith, but it is what is needed.
- Teague vs. Collison. I like this match-up. They’re two young point guards that are still trying to make a name for themselves. They’re both still trying to get the hang of running a team. Neither of them are great distributors, but both have shown signs of being the long term point guard for their teams. I personally think Collison is the better distributor out of the two, but Teague is the better sccorer. Plus, Jeff Teague calls Indiana “home”, so I’m sure he’s going to look have a good game in front of his family and friends.
- Danny Granger. Like Joe Johnson, Granger is always a player that you have to game plan for. He may not be talked about much, but Granger is a pretty deadly scorer. Usually the role of guarding Granger goes to Joe Johnson, but since he’s out, Marvin will probably be the one Larry Drew will rely on. Marvin was asked to guard Durant on Saturday, and for the most part, did a solid job. Granger is not as great of a scorer as Durant is, but Marvin will still certainly have his hands full.
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