|Jeff Teague drives to the basket|
The Pacers have had a great season. Being led by all star Paul George, they dominated the competition. They have had many key wins such as three wins against the Miami Heat. They win games by dominating the paint with their big men such as Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansbrough.
Game 1 of the first round series went to Indiana. They got to the free throw line at will and played excellent basketball inside the paint. There were some questionable calls but the Pacers were on their A-Game and it led to a 107- 90 win. Paul George recorded a triple double with 23 points, 11 rebounds, & 12 assists.
Atlanta head coach Larry Drew put his bench in the game near the end of the third quarter and that received some criticism. Many believed that he rested his starters too long and that's why the Hawks didn't play well in the fourth quarter. Yes, the bench did help trim the lead down to nine but they eventually got tired. Late game situations belong to Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Josh Smith.
|Josh Smith defending Indiana's Paul George|
A concern that Larry Drew should focus on is Josh Smith's shot selection. He shouldn't be settling for jump shots all game long when he can just drive to the basket and score at will. He makes significant progress when he plays his game in the paint area. He misses many jump shots and three point shots and that always ends up being detrimental to the team. Smith must develop a better basketball IQ when it comes to those situations if Atlanta wants to make this a long series.
The series continues in Indiana for game 2 between the Hawks and Pacers. We will see what adjustments are made for both teams and how the results will play out. For the Hawks to win, they have to aggressively attack the basket and make their free throws. If the starters play well for 48 minutes, the Hawks will will head in the right direction to win a series against a very tough Indiana Pacers team.- Yuriy A.