Game 7 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers
Two of the greatest words in sports: Game Seven.
The Hawks and Pacers find themselves there after an intense and grueling Game 6 in which Indiana prevailed behind strong defense and timely fourth quarter buckets. Now we play one last time for the right to face the Washington Wizards in round two.
At this point, don’t look for either team to make many, if any, adjustments. Both teams know what it takes to beat the other, as each team has done it three times in two weeks. For the Hawks defensively, taking away driving lanes and avoiding unnecessary double teams should lead to success. Atlanta needs to force the Pacers into contested jump shots off the dribble and keep them away from the free throw line.
Offensively, the Hawks need to attack the paint more and get better ball movement. The second part will lead to the first part taking care of itself, but late in the fourth quarter of Games 4, 5 and 6, neither was happening. It all starts with Jeff Teague’s aggressive play, but others need to be getting themselves into scoring or driving position when he has the ball. More cuts and better screens will help, as well as better shooting. The Hawks shot just 36 percent from the field, something that has become a theme for them in the series outside of Game 5.
It’s a tall order for the Hawks now, as they missed a golden opportunity to put the series away in front of their own fans. Only 23 of the 114 Game 7s have been won by the road team, so Atlanta has the deck stacked against them. They have, however, won three of the past four games played at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, and all three in convincing fashion. Something tells me Game 7 will be much closer.
Game 7 will air on SportSouth and 92.9 The Game at 5:30 p.m.
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