Preview: Pacers @ Hawks

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat
Kent Bazemore (Hawks.com)

Preview: (IND 17-14) @ ATL (7-23) 12/20/17 7:30 PM Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA. 

The Atlanta Hawks picked up their NBA worst seventh victory of the season last night with a 110-104 win against the severely short-handed Miami Heat. It wasn’t an easy task as the Hawks saw their 14 point 4th quarter lead dwindle down to a single point in the final minutes. Poor 4th quarters have plagued the team all season long.

There were several strong performances across the board. Tauren Prince matched his career high with 24 points on 7-12 shooting including 4-7 from three. He is now averaging over 13 PPG good for 2nd on the team. Prince also added seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Dennis Schroder chimed in with 23-6-6 while Kent Bazemore stuffed the stat sheet with 16 Points, Five Rebounds, Seven Assists, Five Steals and Two Blocks. John Collins had Nine Points and Six Rebounds in just 18 minutes of action.

As for Indiana, they have been one of the surprise teams in the NBA so far this season.They are coming off a 112-111 loss to the hands of the Boston Celtics and come in to town with a 17-14 record overall. Way better than anyone could have expected.  Victor Oladipo has been playing MVP level of basketball after struggling to find his niche with OKC and Orlando.

In this matchup, Kent Bazemore, Tauren Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry will shoulder the heavy task of trying to guard Vic.

Rookie John Collins still faces a minutes restriction but looks to play a bit more than the 18 minutes he played against the Heat. Miles Plumlee has actually looked serviceable starting in his place the past few games. Mike Muscala has also been removed from the Injury Report. He is currently on a rehab assignment with our G-League affiliate Erie Bayhawks but could be recalled before tomorrow’s game.

Key Matchup

Victor Oladipo vs Kent Bazemore

Victor Oladipo has been on an absolute tear. He is averaging 25 PPG while leading the Pacers to a 17-14 record that nobody saw coming after the departure of Paul George. Kent Bazemore, Tauren Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry will have their hands full trying to guard him.

Injury Report

Hawks

DeWayne Dedmon- Out

Pacers

Myles Turner- Day-To-Day

Collins (@JameelahNBA)
Collins Baptizes the Kennard (@JameelahNBA Twitter)

Three Keys to the Game

1. Contain Vic

As mentioned, Vic is averaging 25 PPG and just dropped 38 on the Celtics. The Hawks have to make the others beat us.

2. Don’t Fall Behind

Time after time, the Hawks fall behind by 10-20+ points only to try and come back. By the time the 4th quarter hits the team is out of energy and unable to complete the comeback.

3. Hit Open Shots

For the majority of the season the Hawks have managed to hit three’s and jump shots at a high rate. When jump shots aren’t falling at a high rate, the rest of the offense grinds to a halt (I.E. The Pistons game).

Projected Starters

Hawks

Guard – Dennis Schroder

Guard – Kent Bazemore

Forward – Taurean Prince

Forward – Ersan Ilyasova

Center – Miles Plumlee

Pacers

Guard – Darren Collison

Guard – Victor Oladipo

Forward – Bojan Bogdanovich

Forward – Thadd Young

Center – Myles Turner

Game Info

Tip Off: 7:30 PM ET

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Next 3 Games

Dec 22 @ OKC

Dec 23 vs Mavs

Dec 27 vs Wizards

Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil

 

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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