Pacers-Hawks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 06, 2012
The Indiana Pacers haven't impressed on the offensive end with Danny Granger sidelined, but they're getting plenty of rebounds and second-chance points to go along with their hard-nosed defense. That might cause problems for the Atlanta Hawks if Josh Smith is out again. Playing its fifth game in eight nights, Indiana will try to avoid losing in Atlanta for the 10th straight time Wednesday. The Pacers' leading scorer each of the last five seasons, Granger is sidelined indefinitely with a sore left knee. With its star forward yet to suit up, Indiana has spread the ball around nicely through four games, with seven players averaging between 7.5 and 16.8 points. The Pacers (2-2), though, could surely use Granger back in the lineup as they're scoring 91.0 per game and hitting 40.1 percent from the field - toward the bottom of the NBA in both categories. They shot a season-low 34.2 percent in Monday's 101-79 loss at San Antonio. However, the team is among the league's best in field-goal percentage defense (38.9), total rebounds (53.3 per game), offensive boards (15.3) and second-chance points (15.0). "And they're a good post-up team," Hawks assistant Lester Conner told the team's official website. "They'll post 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. They'll even post up their point guard in George Hill. If they think they have a mismatch with (Atlanta guards) Lou Williams or Jeff Teague, they'll run him to the box. So again, rebound the basketball and defend their post ups." Smith would play a big role in that effort, having led Atlanta (1-1) in rebounds and blocks last season. However, the veteran forward remains day-to-day with a right ankle sprain suffered in Friday's 109-102 season-opening loss to Houston. His potential absence may play a big role Wednesday, considering the Hawks have won 11 of the past 12 meetings when Smith has played as he's averaged 22.4 points. Smith totaled 55 points in the final two matchups last season as Atlanta won both, including a 97-87 victory Feb. 8 in Indiana's only visit to Philips Arena. The Pacers have dropped nine in a row in Atlanta since a 100-90 victory Dec. 22, 2006. The Hawks, though, have shown they can crash the boards without Smith, turning 12 offensive rebounds into 16 points in Sunday's 104-95 road win over Oklahoma City. Al Horford recorded half of those offensive boards and finished with 12 overall along with 23 points - both team highs. "If we give that type of effort against Indiana on Wednesday night, we'll be pretty good," Conner said. Horford's matchup with Roy Hibbert could be key. Indiana's All-Star center has totaled 26 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocks in two wins this season, compared to nine points, 12 boards and two blocks in two losses. Atlanta also could use another big game from Williams, who leads the team with 20.5 points per game. The former Philadelphia 76er's 27 fourth-quarter points are 19 more than any other Hawk, including 14 on Sunday when Atlanta outscored the Thunder by eight. "I thought the ball swung around a lot tonight, which shows the growth that this team has displayed over the past couple of games. Hopefully, that'll be something we can bottle up and use in the future," Williams said. The Pacers, meanwhile, have seen their assist total drop in each game. Indiana had 11 assists and 19 turnovers Monday in their worst offensive and defensive performance of the season. "We turned the ball over a lot. We didn't get open shots," Hibbert told the league's official website after committing three turnovers and shooting 1 for 7.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris


Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NBA 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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker