NBA Playoffs: Can Indiana Take 3-0 Lead On The Road?

Apr 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward David West (21) is guarded by Atlanta Hawks forward DeShawn Stevenson (92) during game two of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Atlanta 113-98. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3 in tonight’s Eastern Conference match-up between the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks is set to take place in Atlanta where the Pacers haven’t had the best of luck.  Tip-off is scheduled at 7:00 p.m. and the early minutes of the game will prove key for the Hawks.  Atlanta’s performance in the first two games has been less than impressive looking disinterested at times and quite often like they’ve already checked out.  Indiana will try to keep with what they have started by getting ahead early and not looking back but if only to see all the wind removed from the Hawks’ sails.

Paul George has averaged 25 points a game in the first two games and I expect we will see nothing short of another all-star caliber performance.  George Hill, who has shot 64% from the field and averaged 20 points a game in the series, should be back at again as well.

It will be extremely important for Indiana to be assertive in their team-first style of play early and often.  Although they have a hugely unfavorable record at Phillips Arena (11 straight losses) their focus and poise directed by Coach Frank Vogel should keep their eye on the prize.

I still remain hopeful that Roy Hibbert’s efforts and contribution will increase on the offensive end of the floor.  In addition, it is imperative that the Pacers bench is as productive as it has been thus far.  Look for Indiana to attack the basket often and remaining to frequently visit the foul line gaining a lot of point production.

Prediction:  Indiana breaks their losing streak in Atlanta and wins by 13.  GO PACERS!

Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Playoffs, Paul George

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