Indiana Pacers (17-12)
Atlanta Hawks (18-9)
The Indiana Pacers look to continue their winning streak with a visit to Atlanta, where they haven’t had much luck lately. Actually looking deep into the times these teams have met, the Pacers have not won in Atlanta since 2006. Now would be a good time to end that losing streak with the current teams sitting a seed apart. Atlanta sitting third overall in the Eastern Conference and the Pacers at fourth.
But tonight’s game won’t be an easy task for the Pacers as they’re coming off a tough win last night. Going back to back on a road trip is tough. With the up and down season, the Pacers have been having, you picture each game being tough. Who knows what to expect out of the Pacers team after losing the last game to Atlanta after the Hawks put together an 18-0 run that got them a lead and helped them get the win. With as good as the Pacers have been on defense at times, it’s hard to believe they let the Hawks get that big of a run.
Tonight’s game will have to be a better defensive effort. Those type of runs can really hurt a team, and their psyche. With the Pacers teetering right on that line of being a confident team, they can’t allow that type of run again.
On the offensive side, I would look for Paul George to put together a great effort. He’s been a standout for the past month or so, and it’s time for him to step up his game tonight. George Hill is something to watch as he took a nice bump last night, which knocked him out of the game for a bit, but returned and scored 22 points for the Pacers in their win. David West has been solid all year, so another guy that can get his game going.
I think this one stays close just like the previous meeting. If the Pacers can bring the effort they’ve had these past four games, then one streak will end and another streak will continue. You can guess which streak I think should continue.