|Eastern Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 1|
|Last 5 Games||2-3||-2.1||2-3||4-1||103.6||45.8||45.5%||50.0||103.0||53.8||44.3%||53.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||98.0||48.6||38-81||46.4%||9-23||37.1%||14-20||71.5%||48||9||24||18||8||14||4|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.9||49.3||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.7%||17-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||96.5||47.8||37-81||45.9%||8-23||37.0%||14-19||73.8%||47||9||24||18||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||97.5||49.8||37-83||45.0%||8-20||37.9%||15-20||76.3%||51||11||22||19||8||15||4|
|vs opponents averaging||97.5||49.1||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||96.8||50.6||37-82||45.2%||7-19||38.0%||15-20||75.1%||51||11||22||18||9||15||5|
|Last 5 Games||1-4||-6.6||0-5||4-1||93.6||44.6||43.8%||53.0||102.0||55.8||47.9%||46.6|
|Team Stats (All Games)||94.7||46.8||35-81||43.6%||7-20||34.7%||18-24||74.6%||54||13||20||20||7||15||6|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.2||49.5||37-82||45.5%||7-20||36.0%||17-22||75.2%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||97.6||49.3||36-82||43.8%||7-20||37.1%||18-25||74.0%||56||14||21||20||7||14||7|
|Stats Against (All Games)||90.7||45.1||35-82||42.0%||5-17||32.7%||16-21||76.0%||50||11||19||22||8||13||6|
|vs opponents averaging||97.6||49.2||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.9%||16-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||89.9||45.7||34-83||41.2%||6-17||31.7%||16-21||75.1%||51||12||18||23||7||13||6|
|Average power rating of opponents played: ATLANTA 96.3, INDIANA 96|
|4/6/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||97-99||L||10.5||W||192.5||O||35-83||42.2%||45||12||36-80||45.0%||55||15|
|4/17/2013||@ NEW YORK||92-98||L||5.5||L||193.5||U||37-90||41.1%||58||12||39-91||42.9%||53||12|
|4/21/2013||@ INDIANA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/24/2013||@ INDIANA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||INDIANA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||INDIANA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/1/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||109-106||W||5.5||W||188||O||39-71||54.9%||43||14||39-80||48.7%||40||14|
|4/14/2013||@ NEW YORK||80-90||L||3||L||193.5||U||28-65||43.1%||58||26||35-82||42.7%||38||11|
|4/21/2013||ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/24/2013||ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|ATLANTA: GUARDS: GM Danny Ferry has really talked up JEFF TEAGUE, who will be more of a traditional point guard with Joe Johnson gone . . . DEVIN HARRIS is going to play plenty of minutes, both alongside Teague and off the bench . . . LOU WILLIAMS is a sixth man. He lacks the mentality to run the point and the size to guard opposing twos. His role will be similar to what it was in Philly . . . KYLE KORVER and ANTHONY MORROW are pure shooters who do little else. They can play the three in a pinch, and the hot hand will get the minutes . . . Coach Larry Drew could call on DeSHAWN STEVENSON for the occasional defense-heavy lineup. More likely, he'll rack up the DNP-CDs . . . JOHN JENKINS might be the best shooter in the rookie class, but he'll be buried on the depth chart. FORWARDS: JOSH SMITH rescinded his trade demand, perhaps because he'll now be the focal point of the offense. He was more aggressive on both ends of the floor last year. As long as he resists the urge to float on the perimeter, he should emerge as an All-Star . . . Considering the makeup of this roster, Atlanta will utilize a lot of three-guard lineups. Korver and Morrow can stretch a defense from that third guard/small forward spot, with Stevenson stepping in as an agitator . . . After scoring double-figures six times in April, IVAN JOHNSON was re-signed to once again provide some muscle inside . . . Rookie MIKE SCOTT is polished after five years at Virginia, but doesn't have the athleticism to be an impact player . . . ANTHONY TOLLIVER is a defensive specialist with very little offense to contribute. CENTERS: AL HORFORD will get his wish to play more power forward this season, though he'll remain their primary option at center. He's healthy again and is one of the most consistent bigs in the NBA . . . ZAZA PACHULIA filled in admirably for Horford last year. But it's back to bench duty for the bruising big . . . JOHAN PETRO is French for "12th man."|
|INDIANA: GUARDS: The Pacers went 7-2 during the regular season and won a playoff series with GEORGE HILL in the starting five. He averaged 13.9 PPG and 5.3 APG in those regular season starts . . . PAUL GEORGE is a defensive stopper who is making strides on the offensive end. If he can find the touches, his scoring average will rise . . . D.J. AUGUSTIN has a skill set similar to Hill's. Maybe he'll push him for minutes later in the year, but more likely he'll shoot corner threes off the bench . . . GERALD GREEN is another athlete for their second unit . . . LANCE STEPHENSON has a chance for a bigger role, but he's been atrocious to this point of his career. FORWARDS: DANNY GRANGER's touches dropped last season, but his shot selection improved as last year went on. He'll continue to be a borderline All-Star . . . DAVID WEST's knee should be fully recovered from his torn ACL in late 2010-11. He was their best player in the postseason and should be a star this season with his ability to knock down shots . . . TYLER HANSBROUGH looks like he's settling in as a career second unit player. His lack of athleticism really limits his upside . . . JEFF PENDERGRAPH may or may not hold on to a roster spot in a 12th-man role. CENTERS: They're paying ROY HIBBERT like a franchise player, and he has the ability to control both ends of the court. The question is whether they'll now play him 30-plus minutes, or continue to use him as more of a part-time player . . . IAN MAHINMI should step in as a decent backup center . . . Rookie MILES PLUMLEE was a part-time player at Duke and is highly unlikely to contribute in his first season.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (ATLANTA-INDIANA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with details. With AP Photos.)
*Hawks-Pacers Preview* ======================
By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer
Atlanta At Indiana, Game One, 1:00 p.m. EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- When it comes to the NBA playoffs, matchups matter.
Atlanta likes to run. Indiana gets physical. Paul George will try to attack. Kyle Korver might be content to knock down 3-pointers.
Both teams know what's coming and have spent the last three days preparing to defend against their biggest weaknesses while exploiting their top advantages when the best-of-seven series opens Sunday in Indianapolis.
"When you look at us on paper from a matchup standpoint, we do give up size. Certain positions we give up athleticism," Hawks coach Larry Drew said Saturday. "But we've been able to balance that with some of the other stuff that we do. I think with our guards, both Jeff (Teague) and Devin (Harris), they pose a problem because of their abilities in the open floor. We run a lot of pick-and-rolls, we've got bigs that can space it out and shoot it, so we balance it."
The Pacers are certainly aware of the dangers Atlanta poses.
Korver always seems to play well against them and shot 75 percent from the field and 53.1 percent on 3-pointers during one 53-minute span in Atlanta's two regular-season wins over Indiana (49-32). Versatile forward Josh Smith, who once committed to play at Indiana University, has caused trouble for the Pacers. And, of course, if the Hawks can score in transition, it mitigates one of Indiana's biggest strengths - a stout defense.
Atlanta (44-38) also has shown it can be successful by mixing things up.
When Drew resorted to using a zone defense in the fourth quarter of the teams' November contest, the Pacers were confounded. Indiana made just 4 of 19 shots from the field and scored only nine points in the final 12 minutes as Korver and Teague, an Indy native, combined for 15 points in an 18-0 run that allowed the Hawks to come back.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel has spent this week reminding his players about what went wrong.
"We've got to be prepared for whatever we see - switching, blitzing, zone, whatever," he said after referring to Teague as the Pacers' top concern. "I think adjustments by both teams can and will be made by both teams throughout the series. We've got Plan As, Plan Bs and Plan Cs."
Vogel, of course, wouldn't elaborate on his backup plans - or how the Pacers intend to end their 11-game losing streak in Atlanta. But after having so much extra time to examine every detail and fine-tune the game plan, the Pacers believe they can turn the corner and win their first opening game in a series since 2006.
"I know, personally, I haven't played well down there, so I've got to play better," center Roy Hibbert said. "We have to get over that hump by any means necessary."
If the Hawks have learned anything about Indiana this season, it's that anything is possible.
The Pacers took advantage of their inside game in the two wins and managed to hold off a late Hawks rally in March when Gerald Green made a surprising 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to extend a four-point lead to seven. Indiana heads into the postseason with the league's best defensive field goal percentage (42.0), best defensive 3-point percentage (32.7) and the league's second-best scoring defense (90.7 points).
Drew doesn't expect those facets to change now.
"They're going to do what they've been doing all year. They may tweak some things here and there. I think in the four games, I recall they switched it up and put Hibbert on Josh Smith some. They may come back with it. We'll be prepared for it," Drew said. "I don't think they will deviate much from what they do. They're a good team. They're a solid team."
What will be different this time?
Atlanta will be without the injured Zaza Pachulia (surgery on right Achilles tendon), who played 72 minutes in the two wins and not a second in the two losses to Indiana.
And while the Pacers again will be without Danny Granger, who has been sidelined almost all season with a left knee injury, they are still expected to start injured point guard George Hill. He sat out the end of practices Friday and Saturday with a left groin injury, though he did some post-practice shooting Saturday.
"It's the playoffs now," Hill said. "I've just got to keep a positive perspective, thinking that I'm 100 percent."
Regardless, the most important thing may be how these match up now.
"They're one of the more physical teams in the league," Horford said. "When we play that way we're very effective."
|Last Updated: 12/21/2014 7:55:10 PM EST|