Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 at 7:30 PM ET at Philips Arena
Preseason Game Preview: Pacers at Hawks
Scott Agness | October 21, 2013
Next up for the Pacers (1-5) is a preseason game in Atlanta against the Hawks (1-4) on Tuesday night. These final two tune-up games – Indiana closes preseason play in Dallas on Friday – will be treated like regular season games, Pacers coach Frank Vogel reiterated on Monday.
The team had Sunday off, with the exception of Pacers FanJam for a few hours in the afternoon. They then held a light practice on Monday that lasted just over an hour.
One area that certainly needs improvement is free throw shooting. Through six games, they are averaging 35 attempts per game but they are only making 69 percent of shots. On Monday, they started and ended practice by shooting free throws. There was one point in training camp when Vogel informed them that the team was 19th in the league (74.6 percent) last season and that wasn’t high enough to win a championship. Everything they do has to be with a championship in mind.
Danny Granger is still dealing with a strained left calf and the team has shut him down for the final two preseason games. They are hoping a week off will allow his calf to improve and that he’ll be ready for opening night – Oct. 29.
Last postseason, the Pacers ended the Hawks’ season in the first round of the playoffs. After each team held serve through the first five games, the Pacers finally got a win on the Hawks’ floor, one that ultimately ended their season. That win snapped their 13-game losing streak in Philips Arena.
During the offseason, the Hawks hired Mike Budenholzer, who was an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs for the previous 17 seasons. In personnel moves, the Hawks drafted guard Dennis Schroder (17th), re-signed Indy native Jeff Teague and sharpshooter Kyle Korver, and added Paul Millsap and Elton Brand. Josh Smith (Pistons), Zaza Pachulia (Bucks), and Devin Harris (Mavericks) all went elsewhere.
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, strained left calf)
Hawks: John Jenkins (day-to-day, lower back spasms), Lou Williams (out, right knee rehabilitation), Gustavo Ayon (out, right shoulder injury)
"Just growing our offense a little bit more. Putting some more stuff in and trying to take advantage as best we can of these few practices that we have left before the regular season starts." – Frank Vogel
“He has been ruled out for this week's games and we'll give you an update once we hit that point," Frank Vogel on Danny Granger
- The Pacers won the last two regular season meetings, and were 5-4 in this past season’s head-to-head meetings.
- The Hawks have four international players on this year’s roster – Pero Antic (Republic of Macedonia), Gustavo Ayon (Mexico), Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and Dennis Schröder (Germany).
- Both Donald Sloan (five games in 2011-12) and Hilton Armstrong (12 games 2010-11) previously had short stints with the Hawks.
May 3 (Game 6 of first round playoff series): The Pacers got back to playing the high-level defense and rebounding that got them the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and held off a fourth-quarter charge by the Hawks for the 81-73 win, propelling them to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They took a 15-point lead into the final quarter, but then the Hawks trimmed Indiana's lead down to three with less than three minutes to play. The Pacers clamped down and didn’t let Atlanta score again.
David West had 21 points and eight rebounds while George Hill finished with 21 points and seven boards. Roy Hibbert recorded his first double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) of the postseason. Al Horford led the Hawks with 15 points and Josh Smith had 14. The Pacers outscored the Hawks by 12 in the paint and had a +18 rebounding differential.
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