Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/19/13
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

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Al Horford
TEAMS: Atlanta Hawks
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sports world reacts to meteor lighting up Michigan sky

Report: Cavs front office communicating less with players, coaches

Ichiro Suzuki considering return to Japan

Celtics legend JoJo White passes away at 71 after battle with cancer

Trevor Ariza reportedly viewed as Rockets' aggressor

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Giants to play McCutchen in right, still pursuing CFs

Aly Raisman blasts USA Gymnastics: ‘I don’t think they care’ about sexual abuse allegations

PETA rips horse-punching Eagles fan, calls for lifetime ban

Mavs, Lakers to pursue Cousins in free agency?

Harrison wants trade if Pirates are not committed to winning

Report: DeAndre Jordan wants to be traded to Rockets

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

2018 NFL Mock Draft

Grading the deal: Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen to Giants

The NBA's deep middle class emerges

Is Mike Moustakas that much better than Travis Shaw?

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

The 'Home field disadvantage' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bruins, Flames, Jets are taking flight

Sabres look to be biggest sellers ahead of NHL trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker