NBA Preview: Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks Predictions & Betting Picks

Trae Young: Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks predictionsThere are other games with more seeding intrigue today, the last night of the regular season. Even so, there are reasons to watch the 47-34 Indiana Pacers and 29-52 Atlanta Hawks square off in Atlanta (8 p.m. ET Wednesday).

Both squads are scrappy and have done well this season, considering the circumstances. The Pacers started the season with a 40-20 record, but they have been much less dangerous after the All-Star break. The season-ending injury to All-Star guard Victor Oladipo and other smaller injury issues have hurt the team, which is quite toothless on offense at the moment. Indiana has the No. 5 seed locked in heading into this game.

On the other hand, the Hawks are playing their best basketball of the season as the campaign winds to a close. Atlanta is a respectable 10-12 in its last 22 games, and all but three of those losses were by 10 points or fewer. The Hawks are guaranteed to have the league’s fifth-best lottery odds.

We’ll see how motivation plays a role in this game, since neither team has much to play for but pride. Let’s preview the game’s key determining factors and give our Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks predictions.

Can Trae Young Take Advantage of Minutes Against Weak Defenders?

Young has developed into one of the biggest offensive forces in the league at the point guard position. He is a nightly candidate to score 20 points and dish out 10 assists with his great shooting touch and passing instincts.

He performs best against teams that don’t have a great perimeter defender in their starting lineup. With Oladipo out, the Pacers qualify in that respect. Darren Collison, Wesley Matthews and Bojan Bogdanovic are three guys who don’t seem like ideal candidates to stop Young.

The Pacers’ bench guards, Cory Joseph and Aaron Holiday, are very good defenders, however. Admittedly, we don’t know exactly who will play for Indiana, but Young definitely needs to pick his spots and be more aggressive depending on who the Pacers have on the floor.

Are the Pacers Content With Resting Or Do They Want to Finish the Season Strong?

The Pacers are limping into the playoffs. They’ve gone 7-14 in their last 21 games and have fallen from the third seed to the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference in the past few weeks.

Indiana has a first-round playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics starting this weekend. No one expects the Pacers to win, and for good reason. Boston has its own issues, but the squad is much more talented than Indiana’s and will have home-court advantage against the Pacers.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan has announced that he will make a decision on rest for today before the game. Giving a mental and physical break to his regulars might help them be more ready for the playoffs. On the other hand, maybe the Pacers need a strong game with all their regulars playing to give them some momentum for the playoffs. There are good reasons for both decisions, but we will see what he chooses.

Will Turnovers Doom the Hawks?

All throughout the season, turnovers have been a source of frustration for the Hawks. Atlanta ranks last in the league in turnovers per game (17.0) and constantly gives up points off those turnovers because it often gets too eager to run in transition and doesn’t have a safety back to prevent easy buckets in the event of a turnover.

Overall, the Hawks are just 6-21 this season when they turn the ball over 19 times or more. The Pacers are an elite team at forcing turnovers on defense and are 12-1 when their opponent gives the ball away 19 times or more.

Atlanta will be forced to be more cautious on offense if it can’t be careful with the ball. That is not something that benefits the young team with all of its shooting and athleticism.

Our Preview’s Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Picks & Predictions Verdict

The Pacers’ defense is great, but I think potential resting and a lack of motivation will make them less effective. The Hawks will also be very eager to show off in front of their fans to wrap up the season.

Atlanta will still make its fair share of mistakes on offense, but I believe its overall energy and high pace will result in a win to end a successful season for the young squad. The Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks picks and predictions for this preview are: