The Atlanta Hawks have their work cut out for them.
They’re on the second night of a road back-to-back, while the Indiana Pacers had the day off Sunday.
Though the Hawks are 2-1 against Indiana this season, the Pacers are a significantly better team on paper and will have an advantage playing at home tonight. However, Atlanta should play with great purpose being that they could extend their road winning streak to three straight and also clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Pacers, along with a Philadelphia loss to Utah.
Indiana leads the league (by a wide margin) in defensive efficiency, allowing only 95.4 points per 100 possessions and they don’t have any weaknesses on that end of the court.
Al Horford will match-up with Roy Hibbert on the box, which could be a problem because Hibbert is one of the more difficult match-ups for Horford in the league, simply because of the size disparity. Paul George is the key to Indiana’s offense and with DeShawn Stevenson getting the day off on Sunday he’ll draw the assignment on Monday night. George is one of the best young wings in the league and DeShawn will have his hands full.
With all of the “tough” statistics, etc. for Atlanta here, they can certainly beat Indiana but they’ll have to put a full 48 minutes together and that could be a tall task on a back-to-back, especially when they’ll be without Zaza Pachulia and Devin Harris.
Fortunately for the Hawks, the Pacers will be without most of their starting lineup in George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Danny Granger and David West.
Let’s see if Atlanta can take advantage.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #71, Road Game #36)
Where?: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
When?: Monday, March 25, 2013 – 7:00 PM (EST)
How?: NBA TV
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Dahntay Jones | SF: Josh Smith | PF: Al Horford | C: Johan Petro
PG: D.J. Augustin | SG: Orlando Johnson | SF: Paul George | PF: Tyler Hansbrough | C: Roy Hibbert
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams are out.
Indiana Pacers: George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Danny Granger and David West are all out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (39-31) … Indiana Pacers (43-27)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Lost 1 / ROAD: Won 2 … Indiana Pacers –> OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Won 2 / ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (17-18) away … Pacers are (28-8) at home.
Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm. The Hawks have won two in a row on the road and could possibly clinch a playoff berth tonight but will be without key player Devin Harris.
Indiana Pacers: Lukewarm. The Pacers play great at home but are 5-5 in their last 10 games overall and will be without their best offensive player in David West against Atlanta.
Season/Past Season Series
Atlanta visits Indiana for the second time in the fourth-and-final meeting between the clubs. The Hawks took the first two games, both at home, on 11/7 (89-86) and 12/29 (109-100), before dropping a 114-103 road decision on 2/5. Jeff Teague is averaging 18.0 points against the Pacers this year and Al Horford is putting up 17.0. David West is averaging 21.3 points versus the Hawks this season and Paul George is scoring at a 20.0 points per game clip. Atlanta leads the all-time series 92-76 with Indiana holding a 51-33 advantage in home games.
LAST MEETING — PACERS 114, HAWKS 103, — BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE — 2/5/13
The Hawks surged ahead in the first quarter, taking a 21-18 lead after one. The lead reached as many as 12 late in the second quarter, but the Pacers went on an 18-7 run to end the half up one. The Pacers took control in the third, and entered the fourth up 11. Atlanta trimmed the deficit to eight late in the game, but could get no closer. Jeff Teague led the way with 24 points, while Al Horford added 15. John Jenkins put in 14 off the bench, and Johan Petro reached a season-high with 10. Kyle Korver also scored 10. Paul George led Indiana with 29, and six others hit double-figures as well. The teams combined to commit 59 fouls and shot 68 free throws. The Hawks dished out 26 assists, while Indiana made good on 28. Atlanta’s 18 turnovers turned into 21 Indiana points.
Dahntay Jones was with the Pacers from 2009-12. 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 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