The Hawks win, and the No. 1 seed is in trouble

Jeff Teague scored 28 points. The Pacers were not please. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Jeff Teague scored 28 points. The Pacers were not please. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Jeff Teague scored 28 points. The Pacers were not please. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Jeff Teague scored 28 points. The Pacers were not pleased. (Darron Cummings/AP)

INDIANAPOLIS

Three observations from the Atlanta Hawks’ surprising-but-not-entirely-shocking Game 1 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

1. The Hawks are perfectly suited to play the Pacers. That’s what kept this 1-versus-8 series from feeling like a typical mismatch. The Hawks are very good at spreading the floor and shooting the trey. The Pacers are good at clogging the lane. Roy Hibbert made the All-Star team because he’s good at challenging shots at the rim, but he’s lousy at challenging shooters 25 feet from the goal. The Hawks again worked their formula, shooting their 3-pointers — half of their first-quarter attempts were treys — and then attacking the resulting open spaces. Given that the Pacers got good by playing a particular style, it’s hard to imagine that they could change it. Which doesn’t bode well for the No. 1 seed.

2. The Pacers can’t say they weren’t warned. The April 6 thrashing administered by the Hawks on this same floor put Indiana on alert, but knowing what’s coming and stopping it are two different things. The Hawks didn’t lead 55-23 at the half this time — but the halftime score was tied at 50, a high number that was a good sign for the Hawks — but they never let the Pacers’ defense get a handle on them. And the Pacers aren’t going to beat the Hawks in a high-scoring game. They have to ugly it up, and twice in 13 days they’ve failed. Which doesn’t bode well for the No. 1 seed.

3. Jeff Teague cannot be be guarded by anyone on the Pacers’ roster. Some of this has to do with the Hawks’ spread-and-shoot style. Once the Pacers get to chasing the Hawks to the perimeter, the lane is open for Teague. But he still has to get past his man, and he destroyed first George Hill — like Teague, an Indy product — and then C.J. Watson off the dribble. If you hadn’t known the Pacers pride themselves on their defense, you’d never have guessed it from this game. They were wrong-footed and outsmarted and outclassed. Which doesn’t bode well for the No. 1 seed.

From myajc.com, our premium site: The Hawks beat the Pacers, and this time it’s not a shock.

Further reading: The Hawks have a real shot against Indiana.

Reader Comments 0

23 comments
slydawg
slydawg

I don't know what was in that drink in that Buckhead bar, but the Hawks are DUI under Coach Bud

gmaye
gmaye

Here we go again,  hawks win one game and loserville sports writers have the hawks wining a championship.

I never seen a bunch of sports writers  and fans so desperate for anything in loserville, oh wait, 3 mos from now we are going to hear how this is UGA best team ever comming up, and how they will win the SEC.

Mark Bradley and the the rest of the AJC sports wirters could never work for the big news papers in Ny, La, every year they give these sorry ATL teams a pass and make excuses for their failue ever year.

antboogie
antboogie

@gmaye  You're a really unhappy person, aren't you? At no point in the article did the writer predict a championship, I don't think you even read the article.

EricMoon2495
EricMoon2495

Of course he's unhappy, he is most likely a Yankee. 8.5 out of 10 of them are gloomy uptight know it alls. Delta goes back nonstop every half hour.

PeterNapa
PeterNapa

@gmayeI missed where he wrote that the Hawks would win the championship. If the writers here are so bad and I hated to read them as much as you seem to then I'd feel like a fool for even reading this article.

JChikara
JChikara

The Hawks have to stay aggressive on the offensive end and stretch Indiana, because the Pacers are unable to keep up with that pace (pun intended). They showed they can take Indiana's best punch and still withstand, imagine what will happen when they get to the ATL. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@J-Dawg  

Early's a player, but WSU did not have an undefeated season.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

2014 ATLANTA HAWKS


STARTER


TEAGUE, RUDY, MILLSAP, HORFORD, ANTIC


BENCH


LOU, KORVER, CARROLL, SCOTT, DRAFT PICK ?


RESERVE


MACK, SCHROEDER, CLENTHONY EARLY


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

RUDY GAY 4YEARS 40MILL HE WOULD TAKE IT.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Hawks must go after Rudy Gay next year and bring Korver of the bench, Rudy will fit this system very well.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ReggieTheMailman
ReggieTheMailman

Reminds me of a few years ago when Orlando dismantled the Hawks in Woodson last season because he refused to play Jason Collins at center straight up vs Dwight, next year with the same roster and different coach we beat the same exact team. Last year Larry Drew kept putting Kyle on Paul George and that's advantage Pacers all day...we bring in a new coach and Demarre Carroll to guard George and the dynamic of the whole series has changed. It helps that Jeff is ballin and Paul too

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Atlanta pro sports teams are blessed with outstanding coaching across the board and inept GM's across the board. The best thing these 3 GM's have done is hire top notch coaches. Then, these excellent coaches have kept these doddering GM's from being fired when they should have.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TreeRollins  

Forty-eight years of postseason futility (lone exception being the '95 Braves) by ATL pro teams suggests that this formula hasn't been successful--yet. Winning on the road in the playoffs obviously is a good START toward reversing that disgraceful distinction. Can't let up at all though.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

So proud of the Hawks and Braves! 2 teams that are under-manned on their rosters compared to the rest of their league - all due to either missteps (Wren) or inactivity (Ferry). Yet, because of superior coaching and effort theses 2 teams have made up for the inferior work of the GM's.

Hawks and Braves - you guys rock!

HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

 Big deal.  Y'all are getting way too excited about nothing special.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@HarveyPooka  

Actually, it IS a big deal anytime an ATL pro team wins on the road in the postseason--if for no other reason than its rarity.

ConfederateFlagBurner
ConfederateFlagBurner

The Hawks have an advantage at the point and with Hibbert being pretty much a no show...

Yeah the Pacers are in trouble. 

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

The Pacers' won't win the series---only the Hawks can lose it.  If we go cold from the outside, the Pacer defense will squeeze us out.  Otherwise, the Indiana offense hasn't been exactly potent this year, and we saw it in true form tonight.  

syrupmaker
syrupmaker

Just like I predicted 2 days ago.