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- Josh Smith will return to the lineup for the Hawks on Wednesday, when Atlanta (1-1) plays host to the Pacers (2-2). Smith missed Sunday’s win at Oklahoma city with a sprained right ankle. He’s going to move from his power forward position to small forward as the Hawks try to combat the Pacers’ size.
- The Hawks will start Zaza Pachulia at center for the first time this season Wednesday night when the Pacers visit. The reason is simple: the Pacers are big, and that goes beyond 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert. Al Horford will slide from center to power forward as Smith moves to small forward. Indiana leads the NBA in rebounding (53.3 per game), and the Hawks are 26th (37.2). “Our biggest concern was being able to match up with them size-wise,” said Hawks coach Larry Drew “They’re big, they’re physical . . . if we have problems with the perimeter we’ll make adjustments.” The Pacers are also physical up front with forward David West (6-9) and with swingman Paul George (6-8) and forward Sam Young (6-6) adds muscle.
- Indiana announced that star forward Danny Granger, the Pacers’ leading scorer for the past five seasons, will miss about three months after receiving an injection in his left knee for patellar tendinosis. He first injured the knee last May.
- Pachulia will not be the only lineup change for Atlanta. Kyle Korver (6-7) will make his first start at shooting guard. Devin Harris (6-3) started the season opener there, and DeShawn Stevenson (6-5) started in Sunday’s win at Oklahoma City.
– Matt Winkeljohn