PLUCK THE HAWKS
Game Time Start: 1:00 PM ET
Where: The Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Officials: D. Stafford, D. Jones, R. Mott, P. Fraher
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / WCNN 680 AM, 93.7 FM
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Atlanta Notes
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Season Records: (W-L) 0 49-32
Upcoming Games: Apr 24 Apr 27 Apr 29 May 01 vs at at vs 7:30pm 7:00pm TBD TBD
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: HORFORD SMITH KORVER HARRIS TEAGUE
Danny Granger - left knee surgery (out)
Zaza Pachulia - sore right Achilles (out)
Lou Williams - torn ACL, right knee (out)
Perpetually Disappointing Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:
Eight Points Nine Seconds: Avi Friedman: Pacers Player Playoff Preview (Say that ten times fast)
Here we are again. The postseason. Thus, this*Pacers Player Playoff Preview. (Say
that ten times fast.)
Indiana is in the playoffs for the third year in a row. The team hasn’t played that well
of late losing five of six games after a nice, Western Conference road trip during which
they won all four games. But looking forward to the playoffs, the Pacers can regain
some*momentum and confidence*with a good series against the Hawks.
By now, all of the players’ roles have been determined.
Let’s look at what to expect from each on both sides of the floor.
Paul George has really emerged offensively this year. He’s averaging 5 more
points than he did last year, and*the main two ways he scores are off threes and
driving to the basket for layups/dunks off of a pick. Sometimes he’ll also stop at mid
range for the pull up and if he’s being guarded by a significantly smaller defender he
can shoot turnaround jump shots off post ups.
The main surprise has been his three-point shooting. He has almost one more per
game than last year and has made the tenth most in the league. He’s kinda struggled,
though since the all star break, hitting only 32.2% of his 3′s as opposed to 38.6% pre-
all star break.
It’s amazing how Paul George’s improvement on defense is what people are
raving about when you think about how he’s averaging 5 more points a game.
Nonetheless, the hype on his defense is justified as he is one of the candidates for
defensive player of the year. He has consistently guarded the opponents’ top
offensive wing player and has almost always done an effective job. He is also a
major pest at playing the passing lanes finishing with the 6th most steals in the
The *part about his defense that amazes me the most is how effective he’s able to
be even when he’s not playing great offensively. Also, he did a great job on LeBron
this season which could be key if the two teams are to meet in the playoffs.
David West has been a nice surprise offensively this season along with Paul George,
averaging 4.3 more points per game. He’s very efficient, shooting almost 50% and
out of all the Pacers he’s the one guy that I’d feel most confident with when you just
need one basket.
He’s the human bulldozer...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
Peachtree Hoops: Robby Kalland: Hawks face off with the Pacers in the first round
The Hawks find themselves the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference which means a
trip to Indiana to face the Pacers in the first round. We breakdown the match-ups and
what to expect in this first-round series.
The Hawks will travel to Indiana on Sunday to take on the Pacers at 1 PM (TNT) to begin
their first-round series. Atlanta has played Indiana four times this season to an even 2-2
split, with each team winning both home games. The Hawks will have to break that
trend and get a road victory if they are to move on to the second round. The good news,
beating the Pacers at home is not an impossible task. The Pacers were 30-11 at home
this year, but have lost three of their last four home games. Indiana possesses about as
much of a home-court advantage as the Hawks do (IND: 25th in attendance, ATL: 26th)
which is why this is the 1 PM game on Sunday, and will be "featured" on NBATV on
Wednesday night (7:30 PM). Here, we will breakdown the key match-ups that will be the
deciding factors in this series.
(Note: For a full breakdown of the Hawks' offense read my post on HoopChalk
detailing the Hawks favorite offensive plays with lots of video/diagrams.)
The Pacers calling card is their defense. Indiana ranked first in the NBA with a defensive
rating of 99.8 and second in points per game allowed at 90.7. They struggle however on
offense, ranking 20th in the NBA with an offensive rating of 104.3 and 23rd with 94.7
points per game. The key for the Hawks will be to speed up the Pacers by creating
turnovers to get out on the fast-break and get easy baskets. The turnover battle will be
key (I know it's a cliche, but it's true). The Pacers are 19-19 when turning the ball over
15 or more times and Atlanta is 27-13 when forcing 15 or more turnovers.
As for the key match-ups...CONTINUE READING AT PEACHTREE HOOPS
Ball Don’t Lie: 2012-2013 Playoff Previews: Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
After a long regular season full of snaps and strains, travails and terrors and 715,973
canned arena demands that “ev-ry-bo-dy clap yo hands,” the NBA’s postseason is set to
tip off this weekend. With that in place, the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie are going to
preview each first-round series, with Kelly Dwyer going against character for a more
genial take, Dan Devine bringing his inimitable mixture of both order and bedlam, along
with Eric Freeman’s legendary look inside the reputations of some of the series’ key
Kelly Dwyer’s Guide Vocal
In a way, it’s probably best that the Atlanta Hawks as you’ve long known them (or, at
least, long tolerated them) go out like this. In a first-round pairing with Indiana, with
most games probably due for NBA TV airings, anonymous as all get out. We’re not going
to pretend to know what’s going on in Danny Ferry’s head as he approaches an offseason
that will lead to the expiration of coach Larry Drew and forward Josh Smith’s contracts,
but based on Ferry’s fine work from last summer, it’s likely that the new’ish Atlanta GM
is looking to clean house this July.
And you can’t clean house if emotional attachments are left dangling. Not that the city
of Atlanta has ever had an overwhelming attachment to this successful, if
The way toward this clean sweep is to duck out as silently as possible, and the Pacers
(a positive mix of set-crushing defense and old-fashioned Midwestern anonymity) provide
the perfect opponent. It’s true that the teams split their season series, and that Indiana is
limping into the postseason after losing five of six games (on the heels of an impressive
Western Conference jaunt), but rotations and whistles tend to tighten in the postseason.
And even some of Atlanta’s more enviable quirks — like, say the forward/center screen-
and-roll movement between Smith and adaptable big man Al Horford — could be
swallowed up by Roy Hibbert’s long arms and David West’s ability to glare the referees
Are we crediting the Pacer defense too much? Perhaps, but this is on the heels of a season
where the Pacer defense hasn’t been credited nearly enough. The Pacers aren’t lousy with
Hall of Fame talent on that side of the ball, but they did turn in a defensive season unseen
since the heyday of...CONTINUE READING AT BALL DON'T LIE
Hardwood Paroxysm: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: The Pacers-Hawks Playoff Preview
From October through April, thirty teams scratched and clawed their way for this
opportunity. Who will make it out? Who will be disappointed? Who will shock and
surprise? Who will hit an insane buzzer beater that will make us all collectively gasp so
loudly that we will be able hear each other from six counties away? WHO? TELL ME,
WHO? Welcome to the Hardwood Paroxysm 2012-2013 Playoff Previews.
Virtual Systems Analysis
by Brian Schroeder
What is Pacers/Hawks? On the surface, it is the most banal of the first round matchups
in this most banal conference. As of now, it’s one of three series scheduled to have at
least one game air on NBATV, an honor which it will certainly achieve again if it goes
beyond four games. It’s not without interesting matchups, but those matchups are so
much more predictable than even Nets/Bulls, that pointing out their novelty serves only
to note how boring and nondescript the rest of the series is, like some sort of tautological
imperative. It’s a point of interest merely because we want to find something interesting.
That being said, this is perhaps the only series devoid of any driving narrative, which I’m
sure contributes to public. In a way, this might speak to our dependence upon narrative
in sport, despite our complaints. Look at Thunder/Rockets. I know I’m very excited to
watch it, even though it will almost certainly be a short series without much drama. The
pull of Harden versus his old teammates is simply too powerful not to enjoy. Pacers/
Hawks has no such drama, which leaves it to stand only on the merits of its basketball.
Given the fact that neither team is particularly aesthetically pleasing certainly doesn’t
help. Given that I just devoted nearly this entire section to this series as a philosophical
representation of our collective addiction to narrative and not a best of seven basketball
series, perhaps the fault lies with me, or with us.
At the same time, the Pacers thoroughly...CONTINUE READING AT HARDWOOD PAROXYSM
SI's The Point Forward: Rob Mahoney: NBA playoff primer - Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
It seemed as though the Hawks fell into this slot by design, presumably angling to avoid
either the Nets or the Bulls in a 4-5 matchup. If that’s the case, the Hawks have made a
strange miscalculation; there is virtually no reason for optimism in their upcoming series
against the Pacers, with the only true variable involved being how long they last.
Indiana is a tough matchup for plenty of opponents, and it managed to keep every one
of Atlanta’s most important offensive players under wraps during the season series,
which the teams split. Beyond that, two of the players most central to Atlanta’s in-season
strategy against Indiana are now gone; scoring guard Lou Williams is out for the season
with a knee injury, while physical big man Zaza Pachulia is still on the mend following an
April operation on his right Achilles tendon. Really tough breaks for the Hawks, as a
perimeter player capable of generating offense and a big man who can defend opposing
centers would have been pretty useful against an opponent this suffocating defensively
and this big on the interior.
As it stands, Al Horford will be giving up some size to Roy Hibbert, while Josh Smith
surrenders an advantage to David West — two factors that matter a great deal for a
Pacers team that posts up so frequently. West, in particular, has fared well against the
Hawks this season, as he scored 21.4 points per game (in just 34.3 minutes) on 53.2
percent shooting over Horford, Smith, Ivan Johnson and any alternate big Hawks head
coach Larry Drew could scrounge up. It also doesn’t help matters for Atlanta that
Hibbert looks to be fully healthy again (he dropped 17 and 13 in his most recent game
against the Hawks) and capable of exploiting his advantage on the block in spite of
Horford’s outstanding defensive fundamentals.
Indiana is so adept...CONTINUE READING AT THE POINT FORWARD