By: John Wickham
The Atlanta Hawks will play Game 4 tonight at Phillips Arena where they could take a giant step in finishing off the series. They are already up 2-1 in the series and a win tonight would put them one more win away from moving onto the next round. The rest of the schedule is Monday at Indiana, then if needed, Thursday in Atlanta, and again if needed Saturday at Indiana.
The Hawks have been able to execute their game plan almost at will against the Pacers. They have been able to take the Pacers out of their comfort zone and spread them out and allow the Jeff Teague to slash into the paint where he can shoot it in from close or dish it out to the Hawks deadly 3-point shooters led by DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver. Another thing that has helped spread out the floor is that the Hawks big men can shoot the ball from the perimeter neutralizing Pacer’s big man Roy Hibbert. They also have been able to play tight defense and create turnovers.
I am not sure if the Hawks can win the series but I believe that have a good chance at least of making the series go to Game 7, which would be an improve from last season when the Pacers knocked the Hawks out in 6 games. That is improvement and especially considering that one of their best players in Al Horford has not played since mid-December. I have faith in the Hawks GM Danny Ferry and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer that they can improve on this playoff season and continue moving to higher goals.