USA TODAY Sports
The Hawks will be without three key players in Josh Smith (hip), Devin Harris (foot), and Anthony Morrow (hip) for tonight's game against the Pacers, and could be without Ivan Johnson (virus).
The Hawks had to make a shakeup to their starting lineup with Josh Smith's hip injury, and will go with the big lineup in his absence. Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Al Horford, and Zaza Pachulia will get the starting call against the Pacers that feature a long, big starting lineup themselves, anchored by Roy Hibbert and David West. West had a huge night in the first meeting, and Paul George has emerged as a star in the past month so those two will be the focal points for the Hawks defense. Despite having Pachulia in the rotation, the Hawks will continue to look to get out and run with Teague and Williams.
The Hawks beat the Pacers 89-86 in their first meeting after coming back in the fourth quarter, out-scoring the Pacers 24-9 en route to the victory. The Hawks will have to contain Paul George who was shut down by Smith in the first meeting, but has been great in the past month leading the Pacers to fourth in the East. The Hawks would pad their lead to three games over the Pacers and Bucks for third in the East with a win tonight, but will have to do it without the services of three, maybe four players (Josh Smith (hip), Devin Harris (foot), and Anthony Morrow (hip) out, with Ivan Johnson (virus) a game-time decision.)