MAKE YOURSELVES AT
Game Time Start: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Officials: T. Brothers, R. Garretson, Z. Zarba, K. Fitzgerald
Television: FOX Sports South
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / WCNN 680 AM, 93.7 FM
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Atlanta Notes
NBA Feeds: NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
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Season Records: (W-L) 3 52-34
Upcoming Games: May 05 vs GAME 7 - TBD
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: PETRO HORFORD SMITH 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: Jared Wade: The Double Dribble Handoff - Indiana’s New Go-To Play
On their best road trip of the year, when Indiana went 4-0 winning in Houston, Dallas,
Phoenix and Los Angeles (Clippers), they broke out a play that I hadn’t seen before. I’m
not saying they never ran it — I miss a lot of things — but it definitely stood out.
Against the Hawks, in the postseason, they went to it again last night, though with less
We’ll get to that.
But to start, let’s look at the two ideal outcomes they got against the Rockets and
In back-to-back wins, they twice found themselves with a possession to end the first
half. And they set up a crafty little way to get Lance Stephenson the ball moving at full
speed. Essentially, the recognized his best attribute — running down hill when he can
use either his physicality to finish strong or his keen decision making to find the open
man — and they tried to turn a half-court possession into a virtual fast break led by
The Play Used in Houston
It is fast and impressive in real time.
Let’s break down the set they used to get Lance the layup.
They set up the inbounds play with everyone in a line at the foul line extended.
The two bigs run to the weak side to join Stephenson on the wing, leaving just George
Hill (with the ball) and Sam Young on the right side of the court.
Hill dribbles towards Young. Young moves towards Hill.
Young takes the handoff and dribbles across the top of the key. Stephenson begins to
start spinning his wheels as he approaches Young.
Young stops, hands the ball to Lance and — this is key — gets in the way of Carlos
Delfino, who is covering Stephenson.
It is almost like a crossing route in the NFL. It’s definitely a lot like a moving screen
in the NBA...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
Peachtree Hoops: Jason Walker: How the Hawks lost Game 5....in the second quarter
The box score shows the Hawks were still in the game into the fourth quarter, but the
game was lost in the second quarter when Josh Smith picked up his second foul and left
the game -- physically and spiritually.
On a night where Josh Smith, not Al Horford, was the best player on the floor for the
Atlanta Hawks, Smith got The Horford Treatment (TM: Bret LaGree/Hoopinion) upon
receiving his second foul of the first half, a capital offense that cost Smith the rest of
half, his own personal mojo and the Hawks any chance of taking Game 5 in Indiana
When Smith reached and fouled David West, there was 6:49 left in the second quarter
and the Hawks held a one point lead.
Smith had been charging the Hawks with some high energy, getting four steals to that
point and scoring 11 points. The Pacers were making the Hawks big men earn their
buckets, with Smith making four of 11 shots to that point, but Smith's willingness to
battle in the post and havoc created on the defensive end had given the Hawks the
lead and brought the Hawks faithful to envision the possibility of stealing home court
Almost as soon as Smith left the game, the lead left the Hawks, never again to return
as the Pacers ended the half with a 20-11 flourish, a prelude to a typically jump-
shooty, noncompetitive Hawks road playoff effort in the second half.
After the Hawks had forced the Pacers into 10 turnovers with Smith on the floor,
Indiana didn't turn it over a single time with Smith riding the Hawks bench for the
remainder of the half.
The game was never the same, and while Larry Drew amazingly left Smith in the
game in the third quarter after acquiring his third, fourth and fifth fouls, they were all
acquired while the Pacers enjoyed a double-digit lead and had calcified their already
stingy defense inside against the Hawks.
Given, Josh Smith had played every single minute to the point of getting that second
foul and was probably due rest, but not six minutes worth. The time to be bold was
when the game was still very much in question, not in desperation.
Look around the league at this time of the season and you'll see even geriatrics like
Paul Pierce logging 45 minutes -- playing a player like Smith or Horford 46 minutes in
a game shouldn't even be worth a second thought.
The Hawks aren't going to win a road game in the playoffs without going all-in long
before the desperation point of a contest. They certainly won't win by jump shooting
their way past the Pacers, as yet another chapter in the book of "Can't beat a physical
team by backing away and firing long two-point shots" illustrates.
The Hawks disintegrated...CONTINUE READING AT PEACHTREE HOOPS
SB Nation: Tom Ziller: Hawks vs. Pacers and crushing NBA hipster guilt
I like watching the Warriors and Nuggets. I've written about the Bucks a lot. I know
Greivis Vasquez's favorite moves. But Lord, I cannot get into Hawks vs. Pacers. Am I
a bad NBA hipster?
First, there's guilt. "You haven't watched enough of the Pacers-Hawks series. Put on
the Pacers-Hawks game. It's a contested series!" I put it on. Then there's the ennui.
"God, I can't watch this." I go back to something glamorous, in this case the halftime
show during Knicks-Celtics.
I am supposed to love all pro basketball. I am not remotely attracted to Hawks vs.
Pacers. What is wrong with me?
If I spoke to a therapist, the therapist would surely say that I need to put my
happiness first. I need to love myself before I love all pro basketball generally, and
Hawks-Pacers specifically. And so long as I feel guilt at not loving Hawks-Pacers, I
am not loving my sense of self. So I need to learn that it's okay to not love Hawks-
I don't know why I feel guilty in the first place, to be honest. This series has been
pretty awful from a competitive standpoint. Sure, it's 3-2 after Indiana's Game 5 win
on Wednesday, but every game has been won by double-digits. The average margin
has been 17. Where other series have featured crazy comebacks, Hawks-Pacers has
nothing. Here is the formula for Hawks-Pacers: home team asserts will and
dominates. The lead holds. Game over. There's no drama. There's no conflict. It's
competitive only in the macro sense. There have actually been few possessions in the
series in which a game has been competitive.
Maybe it's because I actually watched Game 3, which I figured would be an
entertaining affair. Indiana had been dominant at home in the first two games, so I
figured that Atlanta's own home court advantage would improve its performance and
lead to a tight battle. Instead, the Pacers decided to score 30 points in the first half.
30. I summoned all of my bravery to dip into Hawks-Pacers, and Indiana rewarded me
with 27 percent shooting, 22 turnovers and 69 points.
When you mix the lack...CONTINUE READING AT SB NATION