May 8, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) celebrates defeating the Boston Celtics in game five of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 87-86. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks: Preseason Preview

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Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta HawksOff Season Recap:

Joe Johnson gets moved to Brooklyn for players that should give the Hawks some cap space for next season.  Marvin Williams was traded away to the Utah Jazz for Devin Harris.  Clearing more salary for the Hawks next summer.  Lou Williams gets signed to a long term deal for the Hawks.  Kyle Korver was sent to Atlanta, but probably won’t team much for the team.

The Hawks did things to make room for next summer as guys like Chris Paul could be available through free agency.  They look to be taking a step back in the Eastern Conference as a team like Brooklyn got better.  This should be a transitional year for the Hawks, and I predict they don’t make the playoffs this season.

Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks Match up:

I always feel like these teams have played each other so much, so I did some fact hunting about the series.  The Pacers and Hawks have met 183 games, which is second to the Pacers and Knicks.  The Hawks have the edge in the regular season, which seems to happen every year.  The Pacers have the edge in the playoffs, where it ultimately matters most.

So what happens this coming season? I look for the Pacers to do what they should do, and take care of the Hawks easily in the series.  The Pacers and Hawks will get a chance to see who’s better right away as they face off in game number five for the Pacers.  Two more meetings happen as the season progresses.

The Pacers should have advantages in the position battles.  At point guard, the Hawks are going with Devin Harris, who isn’t the same guy he was years ago when he was pretty good.  George Hill should take control of that match up.

If you look at Kyle Korver vs Danny Granger at the small forward battle, you have to give Granger the edge. Even though Korver can come out and make some shots, he’s not the same guy he was when he was good.

The battle that should be interesting is the post battle.  That is where the Hawks can get an edge as they have a few big men to battle it out with Roy Hibbert.  Hibbert does have an advantage over Al Horford as he put him out of action after getting a huge block on him last season.  Who knows if that will factor into the battle, but it’s out there?

The Pacers should win the series, and not have to worry about the Hawks this coming season as I feel there’s much more talent in the starters for the Pacers than the Hawks.

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