The Atlanta Hawks Can
They’ve still got the Pacers number. Although they lost Game 4, it was a very close game that went down to the wire. It’s not as if the Pacers ran away with it. If anything, the Hawks blew it as they had a six-point lead about halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Pacers made adjustments in Game 4, leaving Roy Hibbert on the bench for most of the fourth quarter and using a smaller lineup that included Luis Scola and C.J. Watson. Now it’s time for the Hawks to make a few adjustments and respond.
Although the Pacers tied things up, the pressure is still on them to deliver. That’s not a good thing – especially when playing in front of the home audience. Look for the Hawks to be loose once more and to push the Pacers to their limit again.
The Indiana Pacers
Can Win Because…
They’ve finally got momentum back on their side. After losing Game 1, the Pacers have been fighting uphill ever since. Now they’re back to square one in a best-of-three with home-court advantage once more. The slate is clean.
The Pacers are playing well but they just need a little bit more from their supporting cast. Paul George has been consistent and David West has played well, but Lance Stephenson was just two-of-nine in Game 4 and the bench was just 10-of-24. If the cast can be a little more efficient in Game 5, the Pacers should take control of this series.
Outlook & Pick
Aside from Game 2, the Hawks have been within seven points or better in every contest. That means I’ll take them again with my NBA picks as I expect more of the same. This is a close series and each game has been very competitive well into the third quarter – or later. Look for the Hawks to make some adjustments to the Pacers smaller lineup and put themselves in position to compete – if not win – on Monday.
NBA Pick: Hawks +7 at Bovada