The Hawks go down one game to none after a tough loss to the Pacers. Defense, free throw shooting (7-14) and shot selection were their doom. None of the Hawks played exceptionally well. Josh Smith played like he was Dale Ellis shooting from anywhere he touched the ball. Of course Ellis could hit most of those shots. The defense lacked any bite. Jeff Teague had as good a game as any with 21 points and 7 assists. Al Horford looked good in the first half but was not a factor in the third or fourth quarters.
Indiana's Paul George couldn't hit a shot (3-13) but was able to drive and get to the line (17-18) finishing with 23 points. He added 12 assists to boot. Roy Hibbert didn't have a rebound in the first half but finished with 8 while adding 16 points. George Hill had 18 while the rest of the starters added 13 apiece. Just an overall solid game from Indiana. They were the defensive team I was worried about going into this game. Good on them.
As the Czar Mike Fratello said this is only one game. Atlanta has to know they can beat the Pacers. They were winning early on in this game but they have to play within themselves if they expect to be winning at the end of the fourth quarter much less win the series. Josh Smith will have to be much more of a factor. If he can get his offense going in the post I think Atlanta has a shot. I'll stick with my original prediction of Atlanta in five.