Pacers vs Hawks

Game Preview presented by Jiffy Lube

Practice: Collison Preparing for Imminent Return

March 8, 2018 - Pacers point guard Darren Collison is now listed as questionable for Friday's game against Atlanta after missing 11 games to undergo minor knee surgery. Collison and others discuss the impact of his imminent return.

Pregame 180308

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Practice: Collison Preparing for Imminent Return

March 8, 2018 - Pacers point guard Darren Collison is now listed as questionable for Friday's game against Atlanta after missing 11 games to undergo minor knee surgery. Collison and others discuss the impact of his imminent return.
Mar 8, 2018  |  02:51

Blue-and-Gold Breakdown: Trevor Booker

March 8, 2018 - On this edition of the Blue and Gold Breakdown, Trevor Booker sits down with Pat Boylan to discuss adjusting on the fly, where he views his value, and preview the Pacers vs. Hawks on Friday.
Mar 8, 2018  |  05:00

Pacers Keeping Focused on Matchup with Hawks

March 8, 2018 - Coming off a loss to the Jazz, the Pacers aren't looking beyond Friday's matchup with a Hawks team that has lost eight of their last 11 games.
Mar 8, 2018  |  01:14

Game Preview: Pacers vs Hawks

Friday, March 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Last Updated: March 8 at 5:06 PM ET

Matchup

Following a tough loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, Indiana has a chance to quickly right the ship with a meeting against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

During Wednesday's 104-84 defeat, the Pacers could never get it going on offense, making just 3-of-23 shots from 3-point range as the Jazz defense clamped down.

But the Jazz entered the meeting one of the NBA's hottest teams. Atlanta (20-45), conversely, enters Friday's game as one of the coldest, losing eight of their last 11 games.

Despite Atlanta's foibles, it didn't stop the Hawks from beating the Pacers just one week ago, as the Hawks withstood a late rally to notch a 107-102 win over the Pacers (37-28).

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

Since the All-Star break, Indiana's scoring has dipped down, moving from 106.8 points per game to 99.7. Victor Oladipo in particular has struggled with his shot, hitting on just 24.2 percent of his 3-point looks, down from 38.1 before the break.

"I don't these he's fatigued," explained Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. "I think he's seeing a lot more pressure, these defenders are being more for physical with him, they are making him work to get everything. And we're not getting anything easy in transition."

One silver lining from Wednesday's loss was the impressive outing from Myles Turner, who rebounded from a five-point outing on Monday with a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting against the Jazz.

Friday night's game will be paramount for the Pacers in terms of playoff positioning in the crowded Eastern Conference. Following their game with the Hawks, Indiana plays four straight teams that are currently in playoff position, including the two top teams in the East (Toronto and Boston).

Banking a win against a struggling Hawks team would allow the Pacers a greater margin for error over the final stretch of their schedule.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Hawks: PG - Dennis Schroder, SG - Kent Bazemore, SF - Taurean Prince, PF - John Collins, C - Dewayne Dedmon

Injury Report

Pacers: Darren Collison - will play (left knee arthroscopic surgery rehab)

Hawks: DeAndre' Bembry - out (abdominal strain), Antonius Cleveland - out (left ankle surgery rehab), Malcolm Delaney - out (left ankle sprain)

Last Meeting

February 28, 2018: On the second game of their road trip, the Pacers stumbled against the Atlanta Hawks, falling 107-102.

While Indiana started off the fourth quarter trailing by 20 points, the Blue & Gold mounted an impressive charge, getting the deficit down to just two in the final minutes.

But in crunch time, Atlanta's Dennis Schroder came up big, scoring on three consecutive layups to keep the Hawks in front.

For Indiana, Bojan Bogdanovic led the way offensively, scoring 26 points.

Noteworthy

  • The Hawks lead the all-time series, 101-85.
  • A win over Atlanta would give the Pacers the season series (3-1).
  • Atlanta forward Miles Plumlee was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and began his NBA career with the Pacers in 2012.

Tickets

The Pacers continue a three-game homestand when they welcome Dennis Schroder and the Atlanta Hawks to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, March 9 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

Pacers Team Store Game Night Special

Indy Flex-Fit Hat - $15. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day, as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight. Order Online »