Just before this series started, most NBA people (myself included) believed that this would be a very favorable matchup for the Indiana Pacers. One that would be favorable enough for them to zoom past, and enough for them to regain their lost mojo.
Though, through four games of this series, neither of that has happened.
Instead, this series has turned into well, excuse the cliché-ness, a SERIES — and one that no one expected.
The Pacers and Hawks are tied at 2-2, heading to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for tonight’s all-important Game 5. It’s a huge swing game that will either bring one team closer to vacation, or take one team closer to expectation — if you get where I’m going.
Nevertheless, here are a few things that we’ve learned through the first four games of this series:
THE HAWKS ARE SHOOTING BETTER ON THE ROAD THAN THEY ARE AT HOME
In the Hawks two road games this series, they’re shooting 41 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range. In their two home games, they’re only shooting 35 percent from the field. This could also mean that the Pacers defense is progressively getting better as the series goes on. Game 5 should be a good indicator, though.
THESE TWO TEAMS ARE ACTUALLY PRETTY EVEN IN AN EVEN SERIES — SHOCKING
Who would’ve thought that in an even series, two teams would actually be “even?” But for reals, the aggregate for the series is: Atlanta 372, Indiana 370. That’s actually pretty insane, especially when you factor in that this is a No. 1 vs No. 8 matchup. The Pacers are either playing particularly bad, or the Hawks have raised their game to another level. Perhaps a little of both.
BOTH OFFENSES ARE STRUGGLING, BOTH DEFENSES ARE EXCELLING — NOT SURE WHAT’S THE CASE
The Hawks and Pacers both have posted subpar offensive numbers through the first four games of this series. Atlanta is ranked 14th (among the teams in the playoffs) in offensive rating (98.6) and the Pacers are slightly better at 12th (100.4). If you can do the math, you can automatically tell where both teams stand defensively. If you can’t do the math, I’ll do it for you. On defense, the Pacers are third with a 98.6 defensive rating and the Hawks are fifth with a 100.4 defensive rating. Shooting-wise, the Pacers have an effective field goal percentage of 49.7 and the Hawks have a 46.2 percentage in that same category. Neither team is exactly lighting things up on the offensive end, to say the least. I guess you can say that both are pretty solid on the defensive side of the ball, so far. Either that, or both are in a pretty average slump.