Scouting Report: Indiana Pacers
The Hawks head to Indiana to face the struggling Pacers in a game that means a lot for both teams.
For Indiana, wins are a must if they hope to catch the Miami Heat in the race for home-court advantage. The Pacers currently sit one game back in the loss column, and if last year’s conference finals is any indication, having home court in Game 7 if it gets there is huge.
For the Hawks, playoffs haven’t been the focus, but getting better and improving every game have. Still, Atlanta has a lot on the line Sunday. They are still without a quality road win this season and could use one to get some confidence going. They’re just 11-27 on the road this season.
The Pacers’ struggles have been at the offensive end, where they’ve scored just 100+ points once during their 3-7 stretch and have been held under 90 seven times. They’re still dangerous, especially when All-Star Paul George is hot. He’s the catalyst for them offensively and is the only guy averaging better than 14 points per game. The Hawks will use DeMarre Carroll to try to neutralize him, but it’ll have to be a team effort.
When the Hawks are healthy, they match up pretty well against Indiana. Pero Antic was able to bother Roy Hibbert a bit during Indiana’s trip to Philips Arena earlier this season. Antic’s length will, at the very least, make Hibbert’s go-to hook shot more difficult, and at the offensive end he’ll be able to pull Hibbert away from the basket, which should open up driving lanes for Jeff Teague against the slower George Hill.
Obviously rebounding is a big concern anytime you play Indiana. The Hawks got a good test and passed in that department against the Bulls on Wednesday, actually out-rebounding Chicago. Limiting the Pacers, who have struggled shooting the ball, to one shot should keep Atlanta close.
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