NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 1st (All times Eastern)
(6) Atlanta Hawks (2-2) at (3) Indiana Pacers (2-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers will try to reclaim the series lead Wednesday night when their first-round matchup with the Atlanta Hawks returns to Indianapolis.
The Pacers lost both games in Atlanta, a place they haven't won at since 2006, and now the series is tied 2-2. Game 4 went to the Hawks, 102-91 as all four games have been decided by double digits.
Once this series shifted south, Hawks coach Larry Drew made the decision to start Johan Petro at center. That moved Josh Smith to the small forward and Al Horford to the power forward. Kyle Korver went to the bench and this big lineup has apparently worked.
That notion was somewhat downplayed by the Pacers.
"They're only playing big 20 minutes a game," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "The rest of the time they're playing with Korver at small forward. We just have to play a better basketball game in general."
In the two games in Atlanta, the Pacers shot 27 percent and 38 percent from the field.
One of Indiana's biggest problems has been establishing David West. He's played well in two games and poor in the other two and Vogel is going to try and get West involved.
"We talked about it today and have a great deal of confidence that's going to change," Vogel said on Tuesday. "We have to be creative. We understand what we have to do without getting into details."
In Monday's Game 4, Paul George, the NBA's Most Improved Player this season, led the way with 21 points. West, Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson and George Hill all scored in double figures.
The Hawks will have to win at least one game in Indianapolis, a place where they've gone 1-6 in their last seven.
"In order for us to be successful in Indiana we have to able to get off to a good start, number one and try our best to be able to control the momentum of the game for 48 minutes," said Smith.
Smith was awesome on Monday with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Horford scored 18 points and Jeff Teague added 13, but the Hawks really benefited from a great performance by Korver.
The sharp-shooter went 5-for-8 from long range on Monday for 19 points. Korver started the second half on Monday because Devin Harris suffered from dehydration.
After four somewhat lopsided victories, all from the home team, there are no more surprises as this series nears the finish line.
"I think we won Game 1 and Game 2 so easily that maybe we lost sight of how good this basketball team is," acknowledged Vogel. "Now, we understand that."
Game 6 will be Friday night back in Atlanta.
05/01 10:27:42 ET