Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 7:30 PM EDT at Phillips Arena

Game Preview: IND vs ATL, Game 4

Scott Agness | April 28, 2013

Matchup

So many things went wrong – well, nearly everything – on Saturday for the Indiana Pacers that surely there’s no way they could play worse. It’s only up from here as the Pacers face the Atlanta Hawks Monday night in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series. The Pacers lead 2-1.

In Game 3, the problems started with the Pacers’ lack of aggression. They weren’t sharp, were out-hustled and struggled to execute. Then, when they did execute, their shooting was off. Way off. The Hawks pressured the Pacers and took their airspace, which made them uncomfortable.

But to put the Pacers’ performance in one game in perspective – the Miami Heat lost to the Pacers in Game 3 of their second round matchup last May. The Heat shot poorly (37 percent) and were topped in most statistical categories. These games happen. They then responded by beating the Pacers in each of the next three games by an average of 17 points. It’s all about how a team responds.

Indiana must receive a greater contribution on the offensive end from its backcourt. George Hill (right elbow) and Lance Stephenson (bruised right hip) are both fighting through injuries, but they only contributed seven points on 2-of-15 shooting, with five assists and five turnovers.

Atlanta most certainly will go big again to open the game. Starting Johan Petro at center shifts Al Horford on David West and Josh Smith on Paul George. George didn’t have a bad night in Game 3, but his game was off and problems were numerous on both ends on the floor with Smith opposite him.

The first quarter has proven to be critical because it’s dictated the outcome of the game. In each of the first three games, whichever team led after 12 minutes has led the rest of the way and won by double digits.

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

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Al Horford

Al Horford

Johan Petro

Johan Petro

Injury Update

Pacers: Lance Stephenson (day-to-day, bruised right hip), Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Hawks: Johan Petro (questionable, wife having baby in Miami), Josh Smith (day-to-day, right ankle sprain), Zaza Pachulia (out for the season, sore right Achilles), Lou Williams (out for the season, torn right ACL)

Quotable

“We faltered last game but we’re not going to do that tonight.” – Roy Hibbert

“I think we have it all figured out. We got to understand how we are going to approach tonight. Nothing different. We’re still going attack them the same way but we’re going to do it from an aggressive standpoint. This is a huge game.” – Paul George

“I'm not used to guarding bigs. I'm used to guys who are good coming off screens and the quicker guards. The more and more I get acclimated to guarding bigs, I'll be fine.” – Paul George on defending Josh Smith

“They played aggressive, they took away our airspace and they made nothing easy for us. We got to fight back." – Lance Stephenson after Game 3

Noteworthy

  • Roy Hibbert’s career averages at Philips Arena, where he hasn’t won (0-10): 8.4 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting.
  • Today, the 29th, is Jeff Pendergraph’s 26th birthday – hence the reason why he’s No. 29.

Last Meeting

April 27: In Game 3, nothing went right for the Pacers. After taking an 8-1 lead, the Hawks then outscored the Pacers 42-10 as the blue and gold missed 27-of-30 shots during that span. Roy Hibbert’s struggles in Atlanta continued, as he didn’t scored until the third quarter. Indiana received very little from their bench until the fourth quarter, when Frank Vogel pulled the starters. The Pacers finished with 69 points on 27.2 percent shooting, both season-lows.

David West scored 18 points, going 7-of-14 from the field. Al Horford led all with 26 points and 16 rebounds, both playoff career-highs for the Hawks’ center. Josh Smith finished with 14 points, 12 coming in the first half. The Hawks outscored the Pacers 50-30 in the paint, 24-13 in points off turnovers, 21-15 in second chance points and 14-10 in fast break points.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings | Broadcast Schedule

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (host/sideline reporter)
NBA TV – Kevin Calabro (play-by-play), Greg Anthony (analyst) and Dei Lynam (sideline reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)/>/>

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