What a way to start the second half of the season, huh?
The Atlanta Hawks are in Indiana to take on the first-place Pacers and might have to do so without starting small forward DeMarre Carroll — the team’s best defensive player.
Carroll missed the Hawks’ last game before the All-Star break due to a left hamstring strain. They’ll also be without second-string center Pero Antic who is still recovering from a stress fracture in his right ankle. With starting All-Star center Al Horford out for the season, Atlanta has been relying on third-string center Gustavo Ayon.
With the shortage of starters, the Hawks will need Paul Millsap to step up tonight. However, that might be tough as the Pacers seem to be Millsap’s kryptonite as he’s only averaging 5.5 points per game in two matchups versus Indiana while shooting 3-for-21 combined. Meanwhile, reserve forward Mike Scott is averaging 15.0 ppg against the Pacers this season. If Carrol can’t go tonight, Scott might get the start at small forward. His 6’8″, 237-lb frame, along with his versatility, could pose a problem for Indiana.
Paul George is averaging 23.0 ppg against the Hawks this season, while teammate David West is putting up 15.0 ppg.
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #52, Road Game #27)
Where?: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
When?: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 – 7:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HD TV & 92.9 FM
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: Cartier Martin | PF: Paul Millsap | C: Gustavo Ayon
PG: George Hill | SG: Lance Stephenson| SF: Paul George | PF: David West | C: Roy Hibbert
Atlanta Hawks: DeMarre Carroll (left hamstring strain) is a game-time decision. Pero Antic (stress fracture, right ankle), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery) and John Jenkins (lower back surgery) are out.
Indiana Pacers: None.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (25-26) / Indiana Pacers (40-12)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 5 | HOME: Lost 2 | ROAD: Lost 3 Indiana Pacers –> OVERALL: Lost 1 | HOME: Lost 1 | ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Pacers are (25-3) at home / Hawks are (9-17) on the road.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks have lost five straight games and might have to play without their starting small forward, and best defender, on the road against the 1st place team in the Conference.
Indiana Pacers: Lukewarm. The Pacers lost their last game before the All-Star break and have lost two of the last three overall. However, before that they had won five in a row, including a win over the Hawks in Atlanta on Feb. 4.
Series Notes/Past Series Notes
Atlanta visits Indiana for the first time this year in the third-of-four meetings between the clubs. The teams previously split two games at Philips Arena, the Hawks striking first with 97-87 triumph on 1/8 before the Pacers evened things with an 89-85 decision on 2/4. Five Hawks scored in double-figures in Game 1 led by Kyle Korver’s 17, while Indiana’s Paul George posted 28 points and 12 rebounds. Game 2 saw the Pacers’ David West put up 22 points and 10 boards, with Mike Scott leading Atlanta with 15 points off the bench. The Hawks head to Indiana again on 4/6 to finish the season series. Atlanta leads the all-time series 93-78 (33-52 on the road).
LAST MEETING — PACERS 89, HAWKS 85 — ATLANTA, GA — 2/4/14
Both clubs started slow offensively as Indiana grabbed a 19-15 lead after one. Atlanta woke up in the second, shooting .733 FG% (11-15) in the period and regaining the advantage, 43-42, at the break. The Pacers took the third 24-12 and eventually pushed the lead to 73-57 with under eight minutes to play in the game. The Hawks came storming back, outscoring the visitors 27-13 over the next seven minutes to cut it to two (86-84). The teams exchanged free throws over the next 10 seconds before Danny Granger iced it for the Pacers with two from the charity stripe, making it 89-85 with under four seconds to play. Mike Scott (15) and Elton Brand (12) came off the bench to pace the Hawks in scoring and Paul Millsap grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. David West had 22 points and 10 boards for Indiana. Atlanta outscored Indiana 46-26 in bench points and each Hawk in uniform converted at least one field goal and scored at least three points. Atlanta also held advantages in points in the paint (36-28) and fast break points (13-8).
Hawks Assistant Coach Jim Thomas played two seasons for Indiana (1983-85) after being selected by the Pacers in second round of the 1983 NBA Draft, following a standout career at Indiana University. Hawks Assistant Coach Darvin Ham played one game for the Pacers in 1996-97. Jeff Teague is a native of Indianapolis (Pike High School). Shelvin Mack attended Butler University in Indianapolis. Donald Sloan played five games for Atlanta in 2011-12. Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson teamed-up with Chicago from 2010-12. Korver (Chicago 2010-11) has also been teammates with Rasual Butler. George Hill (2008-11) and Ian Mahinmi (2007-10) played for San Antonio while Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer was an Assistant on the Spurs bench. Luis Scola teamed with DeMarre Carroll in Houston for part of 2010-11. Ham coached Andrew Bynum (2011-12) as an Assistant on the Lakers’ bench.