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 key players Danny Granger and David West.
Let’s see if Atlanta can take advantage.