2013 NBA Playoffs: Complete Eastern Conference first round preview

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No. 3 Indiana Pacers vs. No. 6 Atlanta Hawks

Season Series: Tied 2-2

Mar 25, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) takes a shot against Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Atlanta 100-94. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

How they matchup:

Indiana- 49-32

Points per game: 94.7 (23rd)

Rebounds per game: 45.9 (first)

Assists per game: 20.3 (28th)

Points allowed per game: 90.7 (second)

Field goal percentage:  43.6% (26th)

Three-point percentage:  34.7% (22nd)

Free-throw percentage:  74.6% (19th)

Atlanta- 44-38

Points per game: 98.0 (14th)

Rebounds per game: 40.9 (23rd)

Assists per game:  24.5 (second)

Points allowed per game: 97.5 (13th)

Field goal percentage: 46.4% (seventh)

Three-point percentage:  37.1% (seventh)

Free-throw percentage:  71.5% (26th)

What to expect: Not much, as this doesn’t seem to be a thrilling series on paper.

The Hawks are a solid offensive team, but you win in the playoffs with defense and few teams in the NBA defend and crash the glass as efficiently as Indiana.

There shouldn’t be too much excitement in this series as I look for the Pacers to be very physical with Atlanta and ultimately wear them down quickly in what should be a short series.

Prediction: Indiana in five

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