Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Philips Arena

Game Preview: Pacers at Hawks, Game 6

Scott Agness | April 29, 2014

Matchup

The Pacers’ season is on the line in Atlanta Thursday night for Game 6 of their First Round series. Typically this season, the Pacers have responded in these types of situations when their backs are against the wall.

The Hawks took a 3-2 advantage in the best-of-seven series by upsetting the Pacers on their home floor Monday night and for the third time in April. That’s notable because they have just eight home losses total this season. With the success Indiana had in the final quarter and half in Game 5 that featured a small-ball lineup, coach Frank Vogel and his staff will weigh all options. He refused, however, to tip his hand after practices on both Tuesday and Wednesday — and rightfully so. This thing is a chess match with the loser of the previous game taking the next one. For obviously reasons the Pacers hope that trend continues.

Agness: Copeland Stays Ready »

The Pacers’ two keys undoubtedly will be to defend without fouling and guard the arc. The Hawks have attempted at least 27 3-pointers in all five games, converting at a 39-percent clip, and they have attempted 31 more foul shots than the Pacers in the series. There was a 15-point difference at the free throw line in Game 5 alone.

The other thing each Indiana player can’t do is try to do it all by himself. In an elimination game, each guy must raise his game while also sticking to the script of playing team basketball. There’s no reason to play out of character or venture off course.

Hotchkiss: Pacers Ready to Fight »

Ultimately, it’s going to come down to playing hard and who wants it more. Playing for their season should be motivation enough for the Pacers. They need to be locked in from the start, and provide the “first punch,” as guard Lance Stephenson likes to say. They cannot fall behind by a large margin in Atlanta’s house and with the pressure of their season on the line.

Indiana, the No. 1 seed, will need to do something they’ve never done in franchise history to move on. They are 0-10 all-time in a best-of-seven series falling behind 3-2.

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

Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver

DeMarre Carroll

DeMarre Carroll

Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap

Pero Antic

Pero Antic

Injury Update

Pacers: George Hill (probable, left hip-pointer), C.J. Watson (probable, right hip-pointer), Solomon Hill (inactive, back), Andrew Bynum (out, sore right knee)
Hawks: Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), Al Horford (out, right pectoral muscle surgery), John Jenkins (out, lower back surgery)

Quotable

“I think they just got to continue to believe, and I think we do. We got to win one basketball game; don’t need to win two, and that’s the plan. Going in to win one game.” – Frank Vogel

“We got a tough matchup in this series with a team that is playing lights-out. Everybody wants to talk about what’s wrong with us but I think some of the credit needs to how well they’re playing, how well they’re shooting it. You give them credit and believe in what we have in this group right here and our ability to respond.” – Frank Vogel

“It’s something that’s within. Whoever wants it more is going to win.” – Luis Scola on whether this game is more about adjustment or inside each individual

“It’s win or go here from here on out for us. Our back is against the wall. I feel like that’s when we’re the best, when the pressure is on us. … It’s tough to win there but we just got to believe in one another and get the job done.” – Paul George

“We have to guard them longer and work a little harder to guard them than they do us because of their constant movement. They don’t ball hold; they cut, and it’s a constant flow about the way that they play. … We got to make them uncomfortable.” – David West

Noteworthy

  • Paul George leads the league with five double-doubles this postseason. He’s averaging 22.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
  • When trailing 3-2, the Pacers are 3-7 all-time in Game 6's in franchise history, including 0-4 on the road.
  • The winner of this series will move on to play the Washington Wizards, who handled the Chicago Bulls in five games, in the second round.
  • ChinaPacers.com hosted the annual national fans gathering today in Shenzhen, where over 30 Pacers fans joined forces to send a message of positivity to the Pacers before the win-or-go-home Game 6. Full Story »

Last Meeting

April 28: The Pacers were doomed by a mammoth second-quarter in which the Hawks scored 41 points and made 13-of-16 field goals, in a 107-97 loss Monday night. The Hawks, an agile and sharpshooting team, made a playoff franchise-best 15 3-pointers and outscored the Pacers at the line, 26-11. Indiana got as close as eight with 31.6 seconds left but was unable to pull off a comeback after falling behind by 30 points.

Paul George was outstanding, finishing with 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and six steals. George Hill, Lance Stephenson and David West each scored 16 and C.J. Watson added 15 off the pine. Shelvin Mack led the Hawks with 20 points and Mike Scott added 17, all tallied in the second stanza.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
NBA TV – Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Greg Anthony (analyst), Molly Sullivan (reporter)

Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (host)

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