The Pacers are two games behind the Hawks in the Eastern Conference standings as Indiana tries to solve the vexing problem of beating the Hawks, a team that when healthy seems to always have the Pacers number.
Two key players are questionable in this matchup. Forward Josh Smith has been playing at a high level for the Hawks but left the team's win over Cleveland on Friday with a strained right hip. Pacers point guard George Hill was limping around with ice on his bruised thigh but said he hopes to play in Atlanta. Also, Sam Young was scheduled to stay behind in Indy to see how he felt on Saturday morning with the hope that he could join the team in Atlanta if he is feeling better.
The Hawks don't boast a huge front line which gives the Pacers the option of going small if Roy Hibbert can't take advantage of his matchup against Al Horford. Frank Vogel has been reluctant to go small this year but with Tyler Hansbrough starting to play better, he may want to utilize that option to give the athletic Hawks lineup a different look.
Thanks to taking care of business against teams behind them in the standings, the Pacers have a great opportunity to make up some real ground and make a statement among the top teams in the Eastern Conference with a win in Atlanta tonight.
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