NBA Playoffs: Indiana Pacers @ Atlanta Hawks Game 3

Game 3: Indiana Pacers @ Atlanta Hawks Sat. April 27, 2013 7 p.m. ET

As arguably the least appealing playoff series in the first round, the Atlanta Hawks will attempt to play their way back into this series after dropping the first two games in convincing fashion to the Indiana Pacers. All-Star Paul George and company imposed their will in Game 1 and 2 with dominant performances at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

In Game 3, the Hawks will have their backs against the wall with no one believing Josh Smith and company can get back into this series in order ultimately force Game 5 back in Indiana.

Although a somewhat formidable opponent, the Hawks have been the underdog in Las Vegas odds from the get go. The Pacers proved over the course of the regular season that they’re a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. Indiana has been able to get the job done defensively with George, Roy Hibbert, David West and George Hill proving to be a lethal combination of veterans ready to make up for the failed opportunity to take down the Miami Heat in the postseason last year.

Coming into Game 3, the Hawks will have an opportunity to get into the series on their home floor at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Although the writing appears to be on the wall in terms of the Pacers ultimately advancing to the second round, Indiana will be challenged on the road with a desperate Atlanta squad looking to finally prove their better than a team that hasn’t been able to get out of the first round for quite some time.

As of right now, the Hawks are favored to come out on top in Game 3 with a -1 1/2 point spread. Although the Pacers are clearly the better all-around team in this series and will likely advance, the Hawks will get a win while covering the spread.

Prediction: Atlanta Hawks -1 1/2 

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