Originally written April 19, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
The Indiana Pacers have had a fulfilling season.  They have excelled because of their vigorous defense.  The Pacers were the number two seed for a period of time, but the Knicks’ late winning streak pushed them down to the third seed.  The Hawks’ season has gone as expected.  They have had their moments but they can really struggle at times.  Let’s take a look at this 3 vs. 6 matchup. What Indiana needs to do to win: It all starts with their defense.  Defense is how the Pacers control games.  Indiana limited their opponents to 46.7 percent shooting in the regular season.  They are also the best in the league at transition defense.  Coach Frank Vogel prefers for the team to play a half court style.  Al Horford is the Hawks’ most talented offensive player.  If they slow him down, they should have a much easier time against the Hawks.  Indiana’s tenacious defense should create their offense. What Atlanta needs to do to win: The Hawks are actually the second best in the league at transition defense.  These games are likely going to be slow-paced.  They are also second in the category of assist-to-turnover ratio which means they are cautious with the ball.  Coach Larry Drew runs an extremely organized offense that emphasizes getting the easiest looks possible.  The Hawks absolutely must stay away from the one-on-one situations.  Great ball movement and going through their sets will give them a chance to make this series competitive. Key Matchups:  Roy Hibbert vs. Al Horford: Hibbert and Horford are completely different players.  Although Hibbert’s offense has steadily improved, he has raw offensive talent.  Al Horford is great at getting good looks.  Hibbert is an excellent post defender but Horford loves to stretch the floor and hit the mid-range jumper.  Therefore, Hibbert won’t be utilized as much for post defense IF he is assigned to guard Horford. David West vs. Josh Smith: West and Smith are both all-star caliber players.  Like Hibbert and Horford, they also succeed in different ways.  David West is a veteran power forward with a very good IQ.  Josh Smith is the definition of an all-around player.  He is a tremendous athlete that has developed a solid offensive game.  He also can be a big distraction to his opponent on defense.  The major difference between West and Smith is that West always plays his role.  Smith is sometimes caught sleeping and trying to do too much on offense. Problem for Atlanta: Keep in mind, the Hawks also have Paul George to worry about.  Kyle Korver cannot stick with Paul George.  The Hawks may need to look to their bench for defensive help.  Perhaps, it will be DeShawn Stevenson. Prediction: Pacers in Six Games
PLAYERS: Al Horford
TEAMS: Atlanta Hawks
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

Tiger Woods to open restaurant in Florida next year

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Grading each NFL's team's play at quarter-season mark

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

Hawks News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.