Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers Game Three Preview: Will the Pacers struggle in Philips?


Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) guards Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After the rout on Tuesday against the Atlanta Hawks, the number-one seeded Indiana Pacers will try to find a rhythm now. A disappointing 3rd quarter performance by the Hawks, they now have the chance to bounce back and take advantage of the struggles Indiana experience in Philips Arena. Statistically, the Pacers play worse than any other team in Atlanta.

Now, the Pacers still have to prove that they are back on track and the Hawks have to prove that they can still exploit the fragile minds of the Pacers. Game 3 is a pivotal game for both teams. The Pacers will need to win to gain control of the series and take back home court advantage which was lost in Game 1. With the win in Game 2, it looks like its first bit of momentum which feels like month.

Despite the 2nd half performance, the Hawks have played quite well in the first two games, winning pretty easily in Game 1, and a 11-point lead in the first half of Tuesday’s game that positioned them for another shocker.

In game 2, the Pacers made a few high profiled adjustments which included Paul George guarding Jeff Teague that proved to have made a big effect. Jeff Teague in Game 1 went on to score a career playoff-high 28 points but went to score 14 points (two in the second half) in Game 2. Atlanta will have to find a way to get guard, Jeff Teague, to play more like he did in Game 1.

Mike Budenholzer says this about Paul George’s defensive ability (ESPN):

"“Paul George is a very good defender no matter who he guards. He’s going to have an impact on the game.”"

The Hawks will live or die from shooting beyond the arc as they went 10-for-29 in Game 2.

Tonight will certainly be an exciting game to watch. Whoever wins will gain control of the series and the home court advantage. This series has the potential to be one of the closer No. 1 vs. No. 8 series we’ve seen in years.

Date: April 24, 2014

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 p.m.

TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA-TV

Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates

Live Stream: League Pass Broadband

Point Spread: Pacers by 2.5 points