The Atlanta Hawks find their backs to the wall as their first round series with the Indiana Pacers shifts back home to Philips Arena with Indiana holding a 2-0 lead. Things couldn't have gone much worse for the Hawks in Indiana as the Pacers played about as well as they have at any point during the season. Paul George picked up the NBA's Most Improved Player award prior to Game 2 and has looked like the best player in the series and one for Atlanta has had no answer.
Trying to slow down George is one of the biggest challenges facing Larry Drew and is one that has him reportedly considering a lineup change for Game 3. The problem for the Hawks is that they don't have a lot of options. Drew has elected to go with the conventional starting unit of Jeff Teague and Devin Harris int he backcourt with a frontcourt consisting of Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford in each of the first two games. Korver struggled against George in Game 1 and Harris drew the assignment in Game 2.
Drew wasn't specific in what change he might make but inserting Johan Petro into the starting lineup in place of Kyle Korver seems to be the most likely bet. That would enable Josh Smith to slide to the small forward position and put him in a matchup with George. The Hawks found success early in the season with the big lineup and Zaza Pachulia as the starting center. Pachulia has since been lost to injury and Petro hasn't nearly been as effective.
One thing that is still on the Hawks side is that Indiana has been a much different team on the road and has struggled in Atlanta. The Hawks have won 11 straight games at Philips Arena against the Pacers and will need to do so again on Saturday to avoid falling behind 0-3 in the series.
11/7 - Hawks 89, Pacers 86 - Recap
12/29 - Hawks 109, Pacers 100 - Recap
2/5 - Pacers 114, Hawks 103 - Recap
3/25, Pacers 100, Hawks 94 - Recap
4/21, Game 1, Pacers 107, Hawks 90 - Game 1 coverage
4/24, Game 2, Pacers 113, Hawks 98 - Game 2 coverage
Game date/time: Saturday, April 27, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports South
Radio: 680 The Fan, 93.7 FM, NBA Audio League Pass, Sirius XM
Odds: The Atlanta Hawks are two point favorites at home in Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers.