NBA Picks: Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks Game #4

2013 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #4
#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Atlanta Hawks
Pacers Lead Best of Seven Series 2-1
Monday, April 29, 2013, 7:35 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
Philips Arena – Atlanta, Georgia
Opening Line: Atlanta -1 1/2
Current Line: Atlanta -1 1/2
Opening Total: 186
Current Total: 186
Opening Money Line: Hawks -125 / Pacers +105
Current Money Line: Hawks -120 / Pacers +100

The Hawks look to even up the series at 2-2 against the Pacers Monday night.
The Hawks look to even up the series at 2-2 against the Pacers Monday night.

The Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks have played 7 times this season, and the home team has won each contest. The #3 seed Pacers lead the Western Conference quarterfinals against the #6 Hawks 2-1. The two teams meet in game #4 Momday night in Atlanta. All three games in the series have been decided by 15 points or more. The Pacers won game #1 107-90 and game #2 113-98, both in Indianapolis. In Saturday’s game #3 the Hawks got back in the series by crushing the Pacers 90-69. It was the 12th straight loss in Atlanta for Indiana.

Indiana is coached by Frank Vogel. The Pacers are 44-40 ATS and the total is 40-43-1 this season. The Pacers are outscoring teams 95-91 this season. Indiana is second in the league in points allowed and #23 in scoring. The Pacers are shooting 43.6% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Indiana is 22nd or worse in both categories. The Pacers make 74.6% of their free throws. Indiana leads the league in rebounding at 45.8 per game, and are #8 in rebounds allowed at 40.9. Indiana opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Pacers lead the league in both categories. Indiana averages 20.3 assists, 7.2 steals, 6.3 blocks, and 14.5 turnovers.

Small forward Paul George averages 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Power forward David West averages 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block a game. Point guard George Hill averages 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. He is probable with an arm injury. Center Roy Hibbert averages 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Shooting guard Lance Stephenson averages 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1 steal a game. He is probable with a hip injury. Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Green, Ian Mahinmi, and D.J. Augustin make up the rest of the rotation. Indiana has had success despite All-Star forward Danny Granger missing all but 5 games with a knee injury.

Atlanta is coached by Larry Drew. The Hawks are 38-45-2 ATS and the total is 44-40-1. Atlanta is outscoring teams 98-97.5 this season. The Hawks are shooting 46.4% from the field and 37.1% from 3 point range. Atlanta is #7 in both categories. The Hawks are #26 in free throw shooting at 71.5% from the line. Atlanta averages 40.9 rebounds per game and gives up 43.7 per game. The Hawks are 23rd or worse in both categories. Atlanta opponents are shooting 45% from the field and 37.9% from 3 point range. The Hawks are #28 in 3 point defense. Atlanta averages 24.5 assists, 8.1 steals, 4.5 blocks, and 14.3 turnovers per game.

Small forward Josh Smith averages 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Center Al Horford averages 17.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. He is also probable with a shoulder injury.  Point guard Jeff Teague averages 14.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Louis Williams is out for the season with a knee injury after averaging 14 points in 39 games.  Guard Kyle Korver averages 10.9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Point guard Devin Harris averages 9.9 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Ivan Johnson, John Jenkins, DeShawn Stevenson, and  Anthony Tolliver all get significant minutes as well. Center Zaza Pachulia is out for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. The Hawks have really missed his presence down low especially on defense against the Pacers in the first two games.

Indiana is 7-2 ATS in Monday games, 9-3 after a straight up loss, 5-2 in in Conference Quarterfinals, 8-18 against teams with winning home records, 4-10 against teams with winning records, 2-7 overall, 1-4 in road games, 2-8 in Eastern Conference games, 1-5 after a straight up loss, and after failing to cover, and 1-7 after scoring less than 75 points in the previous game. The over is 5-1 overall in this series, but five of the last seven games in the series in Atlanta have gone under.

Atlanta is 3-7-1 ATS in Monday games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 1-7 at home, and against teams with losing road records, 1-5 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, and overall, 2-10 against Eastern Conference teams, including 1-4 against Central Division teams, 0-5 after a straight up win and on one day rest. The favorite is 22-6 ATS and the home team is 20-7 ATS in this series recently. The Hawks have covered 7 of the last 8 at home against the Pacers.

The Pacers consider themselves to be an elite team in the NBA. Well, elite teams win on the road, especially against an average Atlanta team. Indiana has struggled all season on the road, but can take control of this series with a win Tuesday.  Miami has already advanced and Chicago and New York are up 3-1 in their series. A loss for Indiana likely means the series against the Hawks will go the full seven. I might regret this later, but I think the Pacers find a way to pull it out on the road.

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