The Atlanta Hawks have dominated the recent series against the Indiana Pacers but the Hawks could have their hands full with a Pacers team that is hitting its stride. Indiana has won 14 straight at home and has the top scoring defense in the Eastern Conference surrendering just 90 points a night.
The Hawks have won both meetings this season and four-straight in the series however, both of those games came at Philips Arena where Indiana has lost 11 straight. In addition to being the top defensive team in the East, Indiana is the top rebounding team in the league and is first in rebounding differential which is an area that the Hawks have struggled with all season. Larry Drew talked on Monday about how the Pacers' rebounding will effect his team's defensive rotations:
"Playing like a team against a team like Indiana we know that too many defensive rotations will put us probably at a disadvantage on the glass," Drew said. "From a tactical standpoint, we've got to be more selective in what we do. At the same time, we have to make sure we are able to defend them pick-and-roll wise, guys coming off screens. We've got to be able to defend that. We look at each situation as ‘Where is the fire? How do we defend it?' We have to try to put the fire out, or contain it. By doing that, sometimes another fire could start someplace else."
The Hawks will have to battle the Pacers on the boards without Zaza Pachulia who will miss the game with a sore Achilles. Johan Petro tweaked his back in Monday's practice and also did not make the trip to Indiana. Devin Harris was declared available in Saturday's game against the Chicago Bulls but did not play because of a sore ankle. His status for Tuesdays game has not been determined.
Game date/time: Tuesday, February 5, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Radio: 680 The Fan, 93.7 FM
Online Streaming: NBA League Pass Broadband