Larry Drew knows the starting lineup for Game 1 against the Pacers on Sunday. He’s just not sharing.
The Hawks coach declined to reveal the first unit or the bench rotation he will use after Saturday’s practice, just before the Hawks departed for Indianapolis.
“Right now, I don’t want to give it to you,” Drew said. “I know. We have an idea of exactly what we want to do for this first game. … Matchups are really going to be a situation throughout the series. That’s what a series is really all about, matchups and adjustments.”
While Drew isn’t saying how he will begin the game, the biggest factors are a desire to play up-tempo and a need to counter the size of the Pacers.
The Pacers’ lineup will be no secret. George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert will start. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t make adjustments.
“They are going to do what they’ve been doing all year,” Drew said. “I don’t know how many changes they are going to be making as far as what they do. They may tweak some things they do here and there.
“In looking back, they changed some things. They put Hibbert on Josh Smith some. They may come back with it. We know it. We prepared for it, but they are going to be who they are.”
Missing Zaza: It may not be a coincidence that both of the Hawks’ regular-season wins over the Pacers came with Zaza Pachulia starting at center. Pachulia, lost for the season after surgery on a partially torn Achilles, will be missed.
“He was a huge, huge part of what we did and the success we had against teams like Indiana,” Drew said. “Against big men like Hibbert, you need that big man who can bang and play him with physicality. That is who Zaza is. Now, we need guys who are going to have to step up. (Johan) Petro is going to have to step up. Al (Horford) is going to have to step up in that area. Ivan (Johnson) will be matched up against him.”
Need one in Indy: The Hawks need at least one victory in Indianapolis to defeat the Pacers in the first-round series. While it’s a challenge, Horford thinks it can be done. The Hawks won games at Oklahoma City, Memphis and Brooklyn.
“It’s a challenge, but I’ve felt like when we’ve faced challenges on the road this year we did well,” Horford said. “I don’t expect anything different.”
Etc.: Only four players on the Hawks’ roster — Anthony Tolliver, Shelvin Mack and rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott — have no playoff experience. … Drew’s final message to his team was to have a killer instinct. He reminded players that they had a double-digit lead at the Pacers in a February game, but could not hold it. … Larry Drew II, son of the Hawks’ coach and a player at UCLA, visited Hawks practice Saturday.