GRADES: Pacers 113, Hawks 98

Bo Churney —  April 24, 2013

Pacers lead series, 2-0

IND(2-0) 113 – 98 (0-2)ATL

Key Performers:
P. George (IND): 27 pts, 8 reb, 4 stl
D. Harris (ATL): 17 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast

Summary of tonight’s game: Pacers got ahead, Hawks tried to make a comeback, and were often within striking distance. Then, something always happened to keep the Hawks out of it, whether it be a “foul” (looking at you, Malloy), or a defensive breakdown in transition. In the end, the Hawks couldn’t overcome Indy’s three-point shooting and timely baskets.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Larry Drew let Al play 38 minutes tonight, but it wasn’t exactly that much of a plus for the Hawks. Al missed a bunch of easy shots in the lane and really seemed to be forcing some of his shots. Of course, he never really seemed the same after he unfairly got a technical in the 2nd quarter. Horford’s ejection-worthy reaction was just a testament to how weak the tech call really was. 6/10

Josh Smith: Josh picked up two fouls in the first two minutes, and picked up his third soon after he got back into the game in the second quarter. When he was on the floor, though, he was playing well, as he made his jumpers, had some strong moves to the basket, and was playing aggressive defense. He seemed really inspired in the second half with his play, but he cannot be in that kind of foul trouble in order to be an asset to the team. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle, Kyle, Kyle… you had so many opportunities to keep the Hawks in the game. He fared better on defense not having to guard Paul George, but he was set up too perfectly on several threes that could have been momentum builders to miss. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Zero points after halftime is not going to cut it, regardless of how good your first half was. Teague looked completely out of it in the second half, and was hardly getting into the lane like he was in the first. Part of this should be credited to an improved defensive effort by the Pacers, but a lot of it had to do with Jeff turning into the passive character that we have seen him become too often this season. 6/10

Devin Harris: Devin took some head-scratching shots, but he was the only ATL starter that appeared engaged for the entire game. He tried guarding Paul George, and was effective at times, but George’s physical skill set proved too much. Harris was also one of three Hawks to receive a technical foul on the night. 7.5/10

Johan Petro: Due to Smoove’s foul trouble, Petro received 14 minutes of playing time. Like the first game, he didn’t play bad, but you don’t really want him out there in a playoff game. His biggest contribution was absorbing five fouls, although a couple of those were… well, stupid. 4/10

Ivan Johnson: If I recall correctly, Ivan did not play after receiving a technical foul in the third quarter; big mistake by Larry Drew. The Pacers are too good of a rebounding team to have Ivan Johnson glued to the bench. To be fair, Ivan was in a bit of foul trouble, but in the playoffs, you can risk him fouling out when you are already down. 5/10

DeShawn Stevenson: I get that DeShawn matches up better with George defensively than Korver and Harris, but it’s not that big of a margin, and Stevenson gives you almost nothing offensively. The only fun thing about DeShawn is getting to play the “WHY IS DESHAWN DRIBBLING?” game. Wait, that’s not a fun game at all… 3/10

Dahntay Jones: Dahntay got a stretch of playing time in the first half, and then didn’t see the floor again in important minutes. I don’t mind Dahntay on the floor, but why on earth did LD have him and DeShawn on the court at the same time? Are you trying to your hardest NOT to score points, Coach? 4/10

Mike Scott: Like Jones, Mike also got some first half playing time; it wasn’t the greatest of ideas. He attempted a three that clanked hard off the rim, and got a bucket right before the half… that was quickly turned into an Indiana homerun pass for a dunk before the buzzer. 3/10

Shelvin Mack, Anthony Tolliver, and John Jenkins: I like this “garbage time” section when it’s the Hawks doing the winning. When they’re losing by 20, though? Not so entertaining. INC/10

Larry Drew: The word “rotations” will be written on Coach Drew’s grave. It’s hard to hammer a coach over rotations when your team is in foul trouble. The offensive game plan was strong, though. The Hawks got a lot of easy buckets in the paint, and took a bunch of open three-pointers. If those threes had fallen, we have a different game, but alas, they didn’t. And call me crazy, but Drew might want to try Josh Smith on Paul George in game three; it might be his only hope. 4.5/10

The opposition: Coach Vogel is really good at attacking where he knows he has the advantage. The Pacers used the pick-and-roll to destroy Atlanta’s defense, and took advantage of the game that the referees were calling. The Hawks are going to have a hard time winning when Gerald Green hits three three-pointers. 9/10


Next: Atlanta vs Indiana, Saturday, April 27th

Bo Churney

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