Apr 27, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) grabs a rebound above Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) during the second half of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Pacers, 90-69. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2013: Indiana Pacers Have to Win Tonight


Game four is tonight between the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.  As a fan I couldn’t be more happy it’s tonight as it’s only been a day to process how bad of a loss that was for the team.  They even jumped out to a great start, but after that everything fell apart, and the team just couldn’t get going.  Tonight should be interesting to see how they respond.  For a team that hadn’t lost a back to back game in a while during the season, we know they have that ability to bounce back.  But how do the Pacers respond to the bigger line up of the Hawks?  That’s going to be the question to answer this evening.  I’m saying it’s a must win because Atlanta has won that momentum side of things, and now feel like they can handle the Pacers.  The Pacers have to win to bring it back around for the next game in Indiana, where they should be able to close out the series on Wednesday.

Paul George is going to have to step it back up to guard Josh Smith, and make Smith work on the defensive side of things.  He has to keep Josh Smith from driving into the lane because that will set up some jump shots for him.  Paul George has to get back to where he was in game one and two being extra aggressive, and getting to the foul line if his shot isn’t falling.  This is the match up to watch as both guys are the leaders for their respective teams, and guys that will determine a lot of how the team will go. Whoever wins this battle could determine the game outcome.

Overall, the Indiana Pacers have to get back to that aggressive style.  They were out muscled everywhere in game three, and that can’t happen again, or this is a loss for the team.  The Pacers can’t afford to let this opportunity go away. They need to win, and get back to Indy with that clear shot at closing out the series.  The Pacers know what they have to do, and should have that “killer instinct”, but can’t quite seem to show it. But tonight is that chance to step on the throats of the Hawks, and put them closer to elimination.  This Pacers team can do it as I feel they are the better team, and that’s what the better team does.  I expect a close game through out, but game number 13 in Atlanta for the Pacers should be their chance to break that 12 game losing streak in the ATL.

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