This is the toughest game of the week in my estimation. Because of the venue (the game is in Indiana) and the match-up, this isn’t a game that Atlanta is “supposed” to win. Indiana currently leads the entire NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing only 96.3 points per 100 possessions, and this stinginess has led them to a 28-19 mark in the standings. Part of the success of the Indiana defense is their elite rebounding rate, which also leads the league at 52.7%, and the size advantage that they pose is significant, with 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert manning the paint. Fortunately for Atlanta, the Pacers’ offense is less than spectacular, and that makes them a beatable opponent, even on the road. Look for Al Horford to present all kinds of trouble for Hibbert, as Horford’s range makes it difficult for the lumbering Hibbert to close out on mid-range jump shots, and if Al can pull him away from the basket, that should open up driving lanes. On the perimeter, the Jeff Teague vs. George Hill match-up could decide the outcome, as both guys seem to spur their team’s offensive success. Should be a fun one.
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Who?: Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #47, Road Game #23)
Where?: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
When?: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 – 7:00 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: John Jenkins | SF: Kyle Korver | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
PG: George Hill | SG: Lance Stephenson | SF: Paul George | PF: David West | C: Roy Hibbert
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Johan Petro (strained back) is questionable. Devin Harris (sore left foot), Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Lou Williams (torn right ACL) are all out.
Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger (sore left knee) is out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (26-20) … Indiana Pacers (29-19)
Streak: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Lost 1 / ROAD: Lost 1 … Indiana Pacers –> OVERALL: Won 3 / HOME: Won 14 / ROAD: Lost 3
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (10-12) away … Pacers are (19-3) at home.
Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm.
Indiana Pacers: Hot.
Season/Past Season Series
Atlanta heads to Indiana for the first time this year in the third-of-four matchups between the clubs. The Hawks have taken the first two games – on 11/7 (89-86) and 12/29 (109-100). The Pacers host Atlanta again on 3/25 to finish the season series. Al Horford is averaging 18.0 points against the Pacers this year and Zaza Pachulia is putting up 11.5 points and 14.0 rebounds, grabbing 14 boards in both contests. David West is averaging 24.5 points against Atlanta this season, topping 20 points in both games. The Hawks have won four straight against the Pacers overall, including the last meeting in Indiana on 3/6/12 (101-96). The Pacers’ last win in the series was a 96-84 home triumph on 1/11/12. Atlanta leads the all-time series 92-75 (33-50 on the road).
LAST MEETING — HAWKS 89, PACERS 86 — PHILIPS ARENA (ATL, GA) — 11/7/12
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Atlanta seized control in the second, taking an 11-point lead. Indiana responded with a 16-6 run to make it 51-50 Hawks at the break. The Pacers outscored Atlanta 27-14 in the third and pushed the lead to 83-69 with 6:34 to play in the game. The Hawks stormed back and ended the game on a 20-3 run, culminating with Jeff Teague’s go-ahead three-pointer with just over one minute to go. Al Horford led Atlanta with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Teague scored 15. Kyle Korver had 13 points, including eight in the decisive fourth quarter run, and Josh Smith put in 11. Zaza Pachulia grabbed 14 boards in his first start of the year, adding six points, one assist and one steal. George Hill and David West each scored 20 for Indiana.
Jeff Teague is a native of Indianapolis (Pike High School). Lester Conner was an assistant coach with the Pacers from 2007-10. Gerald Green was teammates with Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro and DeShawn Stevenson last year in New Jersey. Anthony Tolliver and George Hill teamed together in San Antonio in 2008-09. Stevenson and Ian Mahinmi were both with the Mavericks in 2010-11. Tolliver and Jeff Pendergraph both played for Portland in 2009-10. Lou Williams and Sam Young were teammates in Philadelphia for part of last season.
Information was used from the Hawks and Pacers official gamenotes