Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 7:30 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs ATL, Game 2

Scott Agness | April 21, 2013

Arrive Early Wednesday: Due to recent events, security measures have been enhanced at most public venues including Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Ticketholders may see additional security personnel and might possibly experience some delay at entry, so they should plan accordingly. Fans attending the Pacers game on Wednesday, April 24 are reminded that tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. and doors will open at 6:00 p.m. We trust everyone will understand and appreciate that safety for all is the primary concern.

Matchup

After taking Game 1 on Sunday, the Pacers recognize that they have only held serve and still have a long way to go – 3 more wins in the series to be exact. With two days in between games, both the Pacers and Atlanta Hawks likely made adjustments heading into Wednesday’s meeting in the best-of-seven series.

The Pacers snatched the opening game by playing their "together" brand of basketball: tough, physical and defensive-minded. In the first half as both teams warmed up to the others’ game plan, the Hawks were effective in pick-and-roll sets and George Hill went off for 15 points.

What They're Saying: Post-Game 1 »

Hill continues to play through a sore left hip/groin injury but he said it’s going to take a lot more to keep him from playing. Battling against fellow Indy native Jeff Teague, that matchup is the most critical and sets the tone at both ends of the floor.

Despite the Hawks shooting 50 percent, the Pacers still won and did so with very few obstacles. Entering the game, they were winless (0-7) when an opponent made at least half its shots. The Pacers ended the night +16 on the glass – leading to 19 second-chance points – and they outscored the Hawks 30-7 at the foul line. And, they matched the Hawks, the third-best 3-point shooting team in East (.371), with seven deep field goals apiece.

With 23 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, All-Star Paul George, who was the recipient of the NBA’ Most Improved Player of the Year award Tuesday, stole the show by recording his second career triple-double - just the second in the franchise's NBA playoff history. Mark Jackson had the first one, back in 1998 against the New York Knicks.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel has elected to go with Jeff Pendergraph at backup center ahead of Ian Mahinmi. Pendergraph, the team’s most energized player, is one of their better guys at blitzing on screens and running the floor; plus, he can knock down a spot-up jumper. Vogel has also shortened his wing rotation to three guys – Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Gerald Green. Vogel believes their best lineups this season have been when either George or Stephenson is on the floor. So instead of playing two reserves about seven minutes each, he rather go with one, Green, and hope that he gets in rhythm.

The critical points remain the same for the Pacers. It starts with pressuring the ball and containing drives, especially from Teague. When Atlanta calls for the pick-and-roll, the Pacers’ big man must call it out while quickly blitzing (stepping out on the ball handler to cause havoc), and the help side must be ready. Having the versatile Josh Smith settle for jump shots isn’t a bad thing in the eyes of the Pacers, but they must prevent him from going off. Sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who’s always moving and maneuvering around screens, can’t be given much room to operate or else he’ll hurt you from long range.

The third and fourth games of the series will be played in Atlanta on Saturday and Monday, respectively.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague

Devin Harris

Devin Harris

Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Al Horford

Al Horford

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Hawks: Josh Smith (day-to-day, sprained right ankle), Zaza Pachulia (out for the season, sore right Achilles), Lou Williams (out for the season, torn right ACL)

Quotable

“I think it was behind us by the time they got back to the locker room. They understand what the NBA playoffs are about. It’s about momentum, which can shift dramatically with one game, and you have to take care of your home court.” – Frank Vogel on moving on

“I’ve told my entire team, it’s quarter to quarter, half to half, game to game. That’s how I’m approaching it.” – Frank Vogel on the rotations.

“Great to start off on the right foot but we really have to throw that game out. I know that they’re going to change up a lot of their things, bring a lot of intensity to the game and I know their coaches are on. They know they have to do a better job of getting to the line and behind physical with us.” – Paul George

“All we did is protect our home court. What do they say – the playoffs don’t really begin until the home team loses a game? We took care of Game 1, [now] we got to get Game 2.” – Frank Vogel

“We've been talking all year that we're not going to get too high or too low, remain as even-keeled as possible, and depend on one another whether a guys' shooting good or shooting bad.” – David West

"We got to regroup, not get too happy about this and prepare because we know with the weapons they have, they're going to bring it." – Tyler Hansbrough

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won the last three meetings, all at the Fieldhouse.
  • The Pacers were 30-of-34 at the foul line in Sunday’s win and they continued to stress the importance of free throws during practice, using game situations to raise the stakes.
  • Danny Granger was the on practice court, just observing, for the first time since his surgery and when media has been allowed in.
  • Hawks assistant coach Lester Conner spent three years on the Pacers bench under Jim O’Brien.
  • Former Pacers player Dahntay Jones, part of a trade deadline deal with Dallas, is now with Atlanta – as is former Butler standout Shelvin Mack.

Last Meeting

April 21: The Pacers out-hustled the Hawks en route to a 107-90 Game 1 win on Sunday. Paul George recorded just the second triple-double of his career (23 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists). In the second half, the Pacers locked down defensively and held the Hawks to just eight points in the paint. Tyler Hansbrough was active on the glass and provided the Pacers with a big fourth quarter spark to put the game out of reach.

Related: Hansbrough's popularity has its price »

All five Indiana starters scored in double figures, as did Gerald Green. George Hill, who hit his first six shots of the game, finished with 18 points. Roy Hibbert had 16 and both David West and Lance Stephenson added 13. Hawks guard Jeff Teague finished with a team-high 21 points and seven assists. The Pacers limited Kyle Korver to five points on 2-of-7 shooting.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings | Broadcast Schedule

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
NBA TV - Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Steve Smith (analyst), Dei Lynam (sideline reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)/>/>

Ticket Information

Good seats are still available for Game 2 of the First Round versus the Hawks. Find Tickets »

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