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Tuesday playoff previews: Pacers, Raptors, Bulls need wins or can start making tee times

Apr 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Jeff Teague Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Jeff Teague

Three games on Tuesday night, Three games where the road team won Game 1. Three games where the home team should be desperate for a win. For our entertainment’s sake lets hope they are more like Monday’s Grizzlies/Thunder game than Warriors/Clippers.

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers (Hawks lead series 1-0). The Hawks were likely to win one game in this series because when you launch threes like they do — better than 25 a game, second most in the league — there are nights those are going to fall and you’re going to win. But the way the Hawks exploited the Pacers in Game 1 goes beyond that. Roy Hibbert was out of his customary help positions because he has to respect the range of Pero Antic. With him out of the lane Jeff Teague did whatever he wanted — Paul George has asked for the Teague assignment, expect him to get it. Paul Millsap also exploited Hibbert at points, because he can shoot with a little range and put the ball on the floor and drive. Figuring out how to defend against this team with Hibbert on the floor is key.

On the other end, Indiana’s spacing and ball movement on offense was unimpressive in the second half. Indiana needs a lot more David West, it needs to be a threat inside so they can play inside-out and get good looks.

—Kurt Helin

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (Nets lead series 1-0). Toronto has to find a halfcourt offense because the Nets are not going to miss 19 straight threes again. Toronto got good shots when it attacked the rim in transition but once the long, smart defense for the Nets was set Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan would drive and be forced to take a contested shot because the passing lanes were shut down — Toronto has to move better off the ball to create open looks. The Raptors also can’t turn the ball over 20.4 percent of the time (which goes back to the smart ball pressure and defense). On the other end Nets should just keep feeding Joe Johnson the rock — DeMar DeRozan can handle him in the post, Terrence Ross can’t handle him in the pick-and-roll, and Johnson just went straight at John Salmons and scored at will.

This is basically must-win for Toronto, lose the first two at home and it’s hard to see them bouncing back.

—Kurt Helin

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls (Wizards lead series 1-0). If the Wizards or Bulls required any extra motivation, they just needed to watch the 38-44 Hawks rout the reeling Pacers. is there anyway the winner of this Washington-Chicago series isn’t favored to reach the Eastern Conference Finals?

The bigger question is whether the Wizards or Bulls are more likely to win this series.
Chicago is used to taking the hard road. In the Bulls’ last five playoff series, the Game 1 winner lost the series. Surprisingly, scoring wasn’t Chicago’s main issue in its 102-93 loss Sunday. With seven scorers in double digits in a slow-paced game, Chicago’s offensive efficiency was acceptable.
The Bulls’ just couldn’t slow the Wizards, but that might get easier going forward. Nene excelled in Game 1 — producing 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 35 minutes. He hasn’t played 35 minutes in consecutive games since November, though. If Nene can’t play as much in Game 2, Washington will need to get more from John Wall (16 points on 4-of-14 shooting in Game 1) and Bradley Beal (13 points on 3-of-11 shooting).
—Dan Feldman
  1. fanofthegame79 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    All three road teams are playing with house money tonight.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      Speaking of money, I was going to go to the Pacers game tonight, but I’d rather spend my $12 on a pound and a half of turkey at the deli (Boars Head, of course)

  2. unxpexted1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I think Toronto will be the first ousted. I have Nets in 5, Wizards in 7, and I just refuse to believe that the pacers can’t beat the Hawks. Pacers in 6

  3. chicagosports2014 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    We gonna be ready come game time.

  4. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    While the Bulls may be able to keep NeNe in check a bit more than the first game, I can’t imagine you will see Beal & Wall shoot as poorly as they did in the first game. Their lack of production wasn’t due to great D, it was plenty of missed open jumpers. They will fix that issue. In my opinion, it comes down to the bench. Outside of Andre Miller, the Wiz bench only scored 6 points. Typically Webster alone is good for that in about 2 minutes on the floor. The bench needs to shoot better, and if they do? I’d expect a 2-0 series lead for Washington.

    • unxpexted1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Agree, Beal and Wall showed that it was their first playoff game in game 1 and gotta beleive they will shoot better. Especially Beal. If those teams settle in, I think they can handle the bulls.

    • irvness21 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      i agree to both Eutaw and unxpexted… Wall and Beal’s shooting is not gonna be as bad as it was in game 1. They were just awful. IF they can step it up and the Wiz bench can get it going Nene wont have to put up those numbers again. We wont stop him if he can do it again. A driving and dishing Wall with Beal and Webster knocking down there normal shots might be enough to do the Bulls in.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    $10 tickets available to the Pacers game tonight. Excuse me, HUNDREDS of $10 tickets available for tonight’s game. Wait, sorry once again. Hundreds of GOOD $10 tickets available for tonight’s game.

    • gostlcards5 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      I didn’t see any $10 tickets at all. Lowest price is just under $20 for nosebleed seats. The fans will pack the house.

      • gostlcards5 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        There are approximately 120 seats that are either $19.** or $21.**

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Of course they’ll pack the house. A family of four can go to a #1 seed NBA playoff game for $40ish? And there are HUNDREDS available:

  6. 12444uggg - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    The Pacers win close or lose big. What a mess.

  7. polkhigh4life - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Wal and Beal may shoot better…. But no one thinks that Thibs will make adjustments and they play better… Maybe the second best defense in the league shows up tonight and holds them in the 80s… Possible, right???

    • unxpexted1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      right but can they score. The Wizards play above average defense on their end as well.

    • chicitybulls - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      I agree. I mean Wall and Beal didn’t shoot well and may shoot a bit better but some people are not giving Jimmy Butler his due as a defender. Jimmy will make it hard on Beal (and Wall when he guards him). He’s bigger than both and can keep up with them. I mean the guy does a fairly decent job on lebron. I think he can guard Beal and Wall pretty well.

  8. pacersfan1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    I am going to the game tonight. If they lose this game tonight and they show such a lack of motivation as they did in game one it’s over. I can’t see the pacers going to that house of horrors in ATL and winning 2 or 3 games. And as for the 10 dollar tickets. By gametime BLF will be soldout and will be rocking. The fans will do their part. I just hope the pacers will do their part. GO! PACERS!

  9. redbaronx - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    My prediction before the series was Wizards in 6. I think if the Wizards go up 2-0 tonight, I could easily see the Wizards winning in 5. The Bulls simply don’t have the offense to keep up with Washington on a good night. And we saw what happened on a bad night….the Wizards still won. The Bulls losing game 1 at home on a bad Wizards shooting night might have a cascading effect on the Bulls.

  10. canadatude - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Looks like 3 series going 7 games. Put me down for the Bulls, Hawks and Raptors.

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