Johan Petro is starting an NBA playoff game...in 2013.
Welcome to the 2013 Atlanta Hawks. Enjoy your complimentary shot of Petron on your way into Philips Arena.
The Hawks have changed their starting lineup for Game 3, bringing Johan Petro into the starting rotation at the center along with Al Horford, Josh Smith, Devin Harris, and Jeff Teague. The biggest reason for the change is to put Josh Smith on Paul George. George has torched the Hawks in the first two games being primarily guarded by Kyle Korver and Devin Harris. Smith has the length to keep George in front of him and has done very well this season guarding small forwards. It will also keep Smith away from David West on offense, who has a tendency to bully Smoove and deter him from getting in the post. Smith is more likely to post-up against smaller defenders, and he was very successful early in the season against George.
Kyle Korver will come off of the bench for the first time in the series, which Larry Drew hopes will help out both the bench's production and Korver's. Drew pointed out that Korver has been guarded by Paul George, who has faceguarded Korver to keep him from getting enough clean opportunities to catch and shoot. Drew also hopes having Korver coming off the bench to play with the second unit will give them some more offensive "fire-power" off the bench, something they have lacked early in the series.
The Hawks will have to get a more consistent effort from Jeff Teague if they are going to get back in the series. Drew talked about Teague needing to keep his aggression up. In Game 2, Teague had 16 first half points, but was scoreless on just four shot attempts in the second half. Drew said Teague stopped being aggressive, which was part of the reason for Atlanta's second half struggles.