NBA Playoffs 2013: Schedule and Predictions

4 of 9

Josh Smith and Paul George

Indiana Pacers (3) vs. Atlanta Hawks (6). 

Game 1 – Sun April 21, Atlanta at Indiana, 1 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Wed April 24, Atlanta at Indiana, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3 – Sat April 27, Indiana at Atlanta, 7 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Mon April 29, Indiana at Atlanta, TBD, TBD
Game 5 * Wed May 1, Atlanta at Indiana, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Fri May 3, Indiana at Atlanta, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 5, Atlanta at Indiana, TBD, TBD

This will probably be the most boring series of the first round with neither team having many marquee players. Also, both teams have been slumping entering the playoffs and neither team looks very dangerous right now. However, while Atlanta seems like it is inevitably waiting for the end of its season in the first round of the playoffs, Indiana has too many tough guys like David West and Roy Hibbert to be feeling that way.

Player to watch: Josh Smith

Much like the situation in Milwaukee, Josh Smith is essentially playing for his next contract in this series. If he averages 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game against one of the best defenses in the league, there is a good chance a team will offer him a max contract. However, if he averages 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block per game and the Hawks aren’t competitive in the series, I can’t see him getting much more than $10 million per year.

Prediction: Indiana wins 4-2. 

The Hawks do have some talented pieces and I think that because of the quick pace they run at, they will find a way to win a couple of games in this series. However, Indiana’s defense will eventually prove to be too much for them and they will give up towards the end of the series and I think game 6 will be a blowout Pacers win.