Apr 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) struggles to keep the ball away from Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2013: Atlanta is Indiana's Kryptonite

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Good old Superman reference right there in the title for you.  If you’re not a fan of Superman, and have no clue on what I am talking about, let me fill you in.  Superman travels to Krypton, but ends up normal not like his super self, just like the Indiana Pacers have done the past two games in Atlanta.  Oh yea the past 13 games overall in the city of Atlanta.  What in the world is going on down there that just kills the Pacers and makes them all weak? Is there some kryptonite flowing through the streets of Atlanta making Indiana weak?

Even last night’s game looked exactly like game three, where the Pacers got down big points, and couldn’t quite mount the comeback.  At least they looked like they wanted to get back in last night’s game.  But now it’s hard to envision the Pacers walking away from the series with a win.  Atlanta has all the momentum, and even heading back home, I am very unsure what to expect tomorrow night.  The bigger line up of the Hawks has really done a number on the Pacers, and they have to figure that out quick.  If the Pacers lose this first round series, this season will be a huge disappointment, and who knows what the off season would bring.  There’s already the big question of how do you bring David West back.

It’s not like the Pacers will be tinkering with their lineup to match the Hawks’ lineup.  The Pacers have the guys out there that give them the best chance to win.  They have to start hitting shots.  Last night featured quite a bit of missed shots right at the rim.  They also have to bulk up more and play that physical style that they have been known for.  Some call it dirty, but watching enough of the team, I haven’t seen that at all.  I think teams don’t know how to handle the aggressive style defense of the Pacers, and just assume it’s dirty.  But the Hawks have been the more physical team, and that’s disheartening to see.  The Pacers know how well they can play, and right now it’s not up to the level.

The Pacers have to stop the runs as well. The Hawks have jumped out to big runs during the past two games.  That’s really all basketball is a game of runs.  You score some points to build up a lead, and you score some points to come back from a deficit.  The team with the better will to score that run ends up winning the game. Maybe I should just coach the team. But truly, these games have put the Pacers in big holes and they haven’t been able to climb out of. Like  I said game four, the lead did get all the way down to four, but then Atlanta goes on a run to get it up to double digits, and once that happens, it’s game over.

For the Pacers, they have to figure out how to win on the road ANYWHERE if they want to make this playoff run as special as it could be.  But right now, it’s all about the next game.  Win that game, and hope to finally break the curse of Atlanta.  Get out of the kryptonite, and into that power that the Pacers have always had.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Indiana Pacers NBA Playoffs

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