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The Boston Globe

Sports

NBA PLAYOFFS PREVIEW

Overview of Eastern Conference playoffs

1. Indiana Pacers (56-26) vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks (38-44)

This is a more difficult matchup than it appears because the Hawks can be tough to defend when they are converting 3-pointers, and they have the best shooter in the league in Kyle Korver. Also, the Pacers haven’t had success in Atlanta over the years, so this won’t be a sweep. The Hawks rank second in 3-point attempts and coach Mike Budenholzer’s style is to spread the floor and launch long-range shots. The Pacers, however, have superior talent in Paul George, Lance Stephenson, David West, and Roy Hibbert and they seemed to return to form last week against Oklahoma City after a disastrous March. The Hawks won’t win this series, but they should win Game 3 in Atlanta and maybe steal another. It will be a good workout for the Pacers in preparation for the second round.

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