What team is the No. 1 seed again? The Atlanta Hawks or the Indiana Pacers? Well, after the performance the Hawks just turned in, you would think they were the No. 1 seed out of the Eastern Conference.
Yet, this is not the case at all. Indiana is the supposed best team, but somehow managed to get beat 101-93 by an Atlanta squad on its own home floor. The score doesn’t even indicate how bad the Hawks made Indiana look for most of this game either.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Atlanta controlled a 20-point lead before the Pacers scored some late buckets to make the score look close. Now, this means Indiana is in serious jeopardy of becoming only the second team in NBA history to lose to a No. 8 seed in a best of seven series.
I believe it will happen, too. After watching the spectacular effort Jeff Teague turned in, I see no reason why the Hawks can’t come out on top in this series. George Hill and his teammates have no answer for him whenever he decides to take the ball to the hole.
Teague got anything he wanted, and made Evan Turner look silly in the process when he crossed him over to hit an open three. He finished the contest with 28 points and five assists in a dominating performance to help pull off the upset.
Teague wasn’t alone, though. His sidekick, Paul Millsap, certainly raised his game, too. Millsap caused fits for the Pacers down in the low post all game, and really frustrated their team. He not only made Roy Hibbert become ineffective, but he also made David West struggle.
West scored a mere eight points and only grabbed four rebounds, which is way off his season average. Millsap, on the other hand, scored 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds to fuel his team’s big win.
If Teague and Millsap continue to perform this well, the Pacers can forget about winning this series. They might be the No. 1 seed, but they are playing nowhere close to the level they should be in order to beat Atlanta. This is especially true if Indiana can’t find an answer to its defensive woes of late.
The Hawks are in the driver seat for now, and with Teague running the show, I just don’t see how he can’t lead this team to an unbelievable upset in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.