Date: February 4, 2014
Tip-Off Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
The Atlanta Hawks (25-21) are going through a nice period of success lately, with back-to-back wins against the 76ers and the Timberwolves, but Tuesday night brings a much bigger challenge. The Indiana Pacers (36-10) are the top team in the Eastern Conference and also have the best record in the NBA at the moment.
Fortunately, the Hawks do have the benefit of having a home-court advantage, and Jeff Teague seems to be back to his normal time after missing some time due to injury. It’s a good thing too, because the Pacers could have an advantage on the Hawks in every position but point guard and maybe power forward.
The Pacers are coming off of a 98-79 win against the Orlando Magic Monday night, where Danny Granger really heated up for his team. He still came off of the bench, but he was arguably the Pacers’ top player in the game scoring 16 points while shooting 5-9 from the floor and 3-5 from three. Indiana can also rely on Paul George, Roy Hibbert and even David West and Lance Stephenson to get points on the board.
Once you wrap your head around all of those scoring threats and remember that Indiana has the best defense in the NBA (first in points allowed per game: just 90.6 per game) you realize the challenge that Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks are up against. However, the Hawks have played extremely well against stiff competition several times this season and also beat the Pacers in their only other match up this season by ten points.
The one thing the Hawks have going in their favor is rest. The last time Atlanta played was Saturday, so the team should be much fresher all around and they could take advantage of the Pacers’ coming into the game in a back-to-back situation. Vegas has the Hawks as just 2.5-point underdogs in this one, which seems fair. The Pacers are the better team, but they are going to be tired and they are coming into Philips, where the Hawks have played extremely well.
Stay tuned for more information (follow us on twitter @ATLBeatBlog) and be sure to stop by after the game for a full recap.