After more than a week off for the All-Star break, the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers will be come quite familiar with each other in the coming days. On Friday evening, the two teams will kick off their post-break runs with a game in Indianapolis and, after a short hiatus, the Hawks and Pacers will again square off on Wednesday in Atlanta.
The first match-up features the home team putting a three-game winning streak on the line, as the Pacers finished the “first half” of the season in strong fashion. While the team’s 33-25 record is impressive enough on its own, Indiana is a sterling 33-19 with Victor Oladipo in the lineup and slowing the All-Star shooting guard will be key for Atlanta’s hopes in this match-up.
The Hawks, as a result of a resting and maintenance-based rotation in the final game before the hiatus, haven’t deployed a full complement of pieces for a while and that continues here. At the moment, both Andrew White and Josh Magette are with the team after being recalled from Erie and, on Thursday, the reason for the presence of Magette became clear with the injury absence of Malcolm Delaney and the questionable status of Isaiah Taylor. The rest of the rotation remains in tact but, with a bit of uncertainty behind Dennis Schroder, things could get interesting.
Atlanta has undoubtedly played better basketball in recent days and, provided the team deploys its best rotation in the future, that should continue. The Hawks face an uphill climb as an underdog on the road in this spot but, in the same breath, there is every reason to believe the visitors can hang around for the duration on Friday evening.
Game Date/Time: Friday, February 23, 7:00 pm ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)