2014 NBA Playoffs: Atlanta Hawks Must Defeat Indiana Pacers At Home

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks did an amazing job in Game 5 by going on the road and stealing a win in order to go up 3-2, but the job is not done yet. The Indiana Pacers are on the brink of elimination, and that means we could either see the best out of them or the worst. Atlanta fans will be hoping for the bad, but something tells me that the Pacers won’t go down so easily.

After all, they are still the No. 1 seed and the favorite according to Vegas entering tonight’s game. The current trend going on this series is cause for alarm, too. Each team has followed up a win with a loss in their next contest, which means the Hawks are due for a letdown if this trend continues.

The only difference this time around is that Atlanta gets to play in their own building after a huge victory on the road. Hopefully, the Hawks will use this momentum to buck the current trend in this series and come out on top, because they can’t afford for Indiana to get another chance. A Game 7 would be the absolute worst thing to happen when you have a team like the Pacers on the ropes. Give them another opportunity, and you are asking for trouble.

That makes Thursday night’s game at Philips Arena a must-win for the Hawks. They are the ones in their own building, which means now is the time to finish this thing and become one of the few teams in NBA Playoff history to defeat a No. 1 seed as the No. 8 seed. However, the only way Atlanta is going to do that is if everyone gives it their all once again.

Much like Game 5, the Hawks will need contributions from both their bench and the starters in order to walk away victorious. This means the play of Mike Scott, Shelvin Mack and Kyle Korver become extremely important. When Scott and Mack can come off the bench to provide some offense, it really increases Atlanta’s chances at winning.

Same goes for Korver, too. If he’s able to get going from the 3-point line, this would be huge. In the games where he’s shot over 40 percent from three, the Hawks are 2-0 against Indiana.

Andrew Shaw is an Atlanta Hawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @AShaw003, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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