Game Preview: Pacers vs Hawks
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
After falling to the Kings on Wednesday night, the Pacers (30-35) will look to bounce back on Thursday when they host the Atlanta Hawks (37-30) on the second night of a back-to-back.
Indiana has now dropped four of its last five following a 104-93 loss to the Kings. While the defense surrendered 154 points in Monday's loss in Washington, it was the offense that faltered against Sacramento. The Pacers had a season-high 22 turnovers, which the Kings converted into 25 points.
Though the Pacers are scuffling, they still remain in position to take part in the Play-In Tournament for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The teams that finish the season in seventh through 10th place will participate in the Play-In and Indiana remains in ninth after Wednesday's games (a half-game ahead of 10th-place Washington, but 3.5 games clear of 11th-place Toronto).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »
Meanwhile, the Hawks are currently in position to avoid the Play-In, sitting in fifth in the East. Former Pacers coach Nate McMillan has guided a tremendous turnaround in Atlanta, taking over as interim head coach after the Hawks fired Lloyd Pierce on March 1. Atlanta is 23-10 since McMillan assumed head coach responsibilities.
McMillan has gotten the most out of the Hawks' young core, a group that is led by point guard Trae Young and big man Clint Capela. Young averages a team-high 25.5 points per game and ranks second in the NBA in assists (9.4 per contest). Capela is averaging 15.3 points on 59.7 percent shooting while leading the league in rebounding (14.4) and ranking fourth in blocked shots (2.1).
Pacers: PG - Aaron Holiday, SG - Caris LeVert, SF - Doug McDermott, PF - Oshae Brissett, C - Domantas Sabonis
Hawks: PG - Trae Young, SG - Bogdan Bogdanovic, SF - Tony Snell, PF - John Collins, C - Clint Capela
Pacers: Goga Bitadze - questionable (left ankle sprain), Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore right hamstring), Jeremy Lamb - questionable (sore left knee), Edmond Sumner - questionable (bruised left knee), JaKarr Sampson - out (concussion), Myles Turner - out (partial plantar plate tear, right foot great toe), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)
Hawks: De'Andre Hunter - out (sore right knee), Cam Reddish - out (sore right Achilles)
April 18, 2021: The Pacers fought back from a 20-point first-quarter deficit and were tied at 105 with five minutes to play, but the Hawks outscored Indiana 24-12 down the stretch to pick up a 129-117 victory in Atlanta.
"We were fighting a lot of things," coach Nate Bjorkgren said postgame. "It just kind of felt like an uphill battle throughout. Their main guys hurt us."
Malcolm Brogdon led the Blue & Gold with 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting and eight assists in the loss. Domantas Sabonis added 18 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, while T.J. McConnell scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting off the bench and also dished out seven assists.
Trae Young led all scorers with 34 points and dished out 11 assists for the Hawks. Clint Capela had a monster night with 25 points and 24 rebounds, while Kevin Huerter and Bogdan Bogdanovic each knocked down five 3-pointers and scored 23 points apiece.
- After the two teams split a pair of games in Atlanta, the winner of Thursday's contest will secure the regular season series.
- The Pacers have won six straight home games against the Hawks, who have not won at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since Nov. 23, 2016.
- Hawks forward Solomon Hill was the Pacers' first-round pick in 2013 and spent his first three NBA seasons in Indiana.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 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.