When the season began, many observers placed the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers in a similar tier from a projection standpoint. After two months of action, that characterization does not appear accurate but, on Wednesday, the Hawks and Pacers will face off for the first time during this year’s campaign.
Indiana’s early season success (including a 17-14 mark) has been buoyed by the play of Victor Oladipo and the former Magic and Thunder guard has made a leap toward stardom. In this spot, Kent Bazemore, DeAndre Bembry and others will have a chance to slow him down but, with the jump he has engineered, Indiana’s complete roster falls in line to the tune of a likely Eastern Conference Playoff team.
On the Hawks side, this is a spot for the home team to seek two straight wins, as Atlanta prevailed over a short-handed Heat team on Monday. Despite Indiana’s success, this isn’t a situation in which Atlanta is at a severe talent disadvantage and, considering the friendly venue, there is some reason for optimism at Philips Arena.
The good folks in Las Vegas have installed the Pacers as 4.5-point favorites in the game, with FiveThirtyEight giving the Hawks a 38 percent chance at victory. We’ll be here throughout the day to cover the festivities and you can join us in this space.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, December 20, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)