Pacers shine defensively to defeat Hawks in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Paul Abell

After averaging 98 points in the regular season, the Pacers held the Hawks to just 87.5 points a night as they advanced in six games.

The Indiana Pacers were arguably the best defensive team in the NBA this past season. Facing an Atlanta Hawks team with plenty of scorers on the roster, the Pacers displayed just how good they were defensively yet again in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Indiana held the Hawks to 89.3 points per game in the series after Atlanta averaged 98 points per game during the regular season. In Games 5 and 6, Atlanta averaged just 78 points. When you consider one of those games were played in Atlanta, it really is a testament to coach Frank Vogel and what the Pacers have been able to do on the defensive end.

If there was an aspect of Indiana's defense that got exposed in the series, it was their pick-and-roll defense. The Hawks exploited it in Games 3 and 4, and it led to wins. The Pacers made adjustments by playing Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph more, and it paid off on the defensive end.

Next up for the Pacers will be a tough series with the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and crew can score a lot of points in a hurry, averaging 100 a night during the regular season.

It will be imperative that Indiana controls the pace of the game if the Pacers hope to advance to the conference finals. Look for Vogel and the coaching staff to have their team prepared on the defensive end Sunday afternoon in New York, just like they've done all year long.

More from SB Nation:

Stephen Curry's 10 best shots of the playoffs

Pay Nate Robinson (if you dare)

Controversial call helps close door on Denver

David Kahn has the final word

What's wrong with the Knicks?

Longform: The secret world of NBA daps

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.