NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 27th (All times Eastern)
(3) Indiana Pacers (2-0) at (6) Atlanta Hawks (0-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will try to get a win in their series with the Indiana Pacers when the Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup shifts to Atlanta for Game 3.
"The most important game now is the next game," said Hawks head coach Larry Drew. "We're not going to look too far ahead. We've played this team really well, particularly in our building. I want them bubbling with confidence."
It might be hard for the Hawks to come into Game 3 "bubbling with confidence" considering they lost the first two games of this series by an average of 16 points.
On Wednesday, the Pacers toppled the Hawks, 113-98.
Paul George had 27 points in Game 2 and is averaging 25.0 ppg during the series. George Hill chipped in 22 points on Wednesday, but like many of the Pacers, he doesn't care to dwell on the past.
"It doesn't mean anything now [because] in the playoffs were 0-0," said Hill.
The Pacers were 19-21 on the road this season, but things get much worse if you look at their recent history in Atlanta. Indiana has dropped 11 straight in Atlanta and hasn't won in Georgia since Dec. 22, 2006.
"I'm not really going to talk [to the team] about that at all...I wouldn't really look into it too much to be honest with you," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "I don't put a lot of credence into regular season games."
Vogel may not, but history doesn't lie.
Although, the Pacers have out-played the Hawks badly in the first two games. The bruising front line of Indiana has topped the Atlanta big men and held them in check.
Al Horford is averaging 14.5 ppg in this series, which is down from 17.4 during the regular season.
Josh Smith is at 15.5 after posting a 17.5 ppg scoring average this season. Smith is battling a balky ankle and played less than 20 minutes in Wednesday's Game 2.
Jeff Teague has carried the team in the postseason. He scored 21 points in Game 1 and 16 in the second, but the Hawks know that everyone needs to elevate their play to avoid a sweep.
"Our backs are against the wall," said Horford. "They handled their home- court, Game 3 is crucial for us, we have to handle ours."
The Hawks were 25-16 in Atlanta this season.
Game 4 is on tap for Monday night in Atlanta.
04/27 10:08:15 ET