Time to give Hawks some credit

Atlanta's success versus Indiana goes well beyond the Pacers' struggles

Updated: April 29, 2014, 1:09 PM ET
By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

So much attention has been focused on what's wrong with the Indiana Pacers that it's easy to forget that the Atlanta Hawks are more than scenery in the playoff series they lead 3-2 after claiming Game 5 on Monday night in Indiana. Amid the consternation over the Pacers, it's about time the Hawks get some credit for their playoff performance. They're winning this series as much as Indiana is losing it.

Atlanta's five-out, 3-point-heavy offense is both ideal for an underdog and the perfect antidote to Indiana's league-leading defense. Coach Mike Budenholzer has encouraged his charges to let it fly from downtown, and they have responded by attempting at least 27 3s in all five games -- more than the Pacers attempted in any of the first four games before trying 30 triples in an effort to come back from the 30-point deficit they faced in the second half Monday.