The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers will start a new chapter today in what has long been one of the Eastern Conferences most entertaining postseason rivalries. The names on the back of the jerseys may be different but the goal for both teams remains the same.
Expect to see another grind it out, low scoring series as the Pacers led the NBA this season in defensive efficiency. The Pacers will likely attempt to wear down Carmelo Anthony throughout the series, throwing a combo of tough defenders in Paul George and David West his way.
Adding to the expected defensive tone of this series is the fact that both the Knicks and Pacers struggled offensively throughout their first round matchups. Anthony missed 19 consecutive three pointers before hitting the series clincher late in game 6 against the Boston Celtics. Indiana Pacers star Paul George also had his struggles in the first round, scoring just four points on 2-10 shooting as the Pacers closed out the Hawks on Friday in Atlanta.
What to watch for
The Knicks averaged just 91.8 points per 100 possessions against the Pacers during the regular season, their lowest offensive efficiency against any opponent this season. The Pacers were able to slow the Knicks’ offense by limiting their success from beyond the arc.
If the regular season is any indication, the Pacers will lean heavily on Paul George when it comes to defending Carmelo Anthony. In the four regular-season matchups, Anthony was 19 for 49 from the field when guarded by George with three fouls drawn. When not matched up with George, Anthony was also defended by David West and Sam Young, who forced Anthony to go a combined 4 for 11 from the floor.
This should be a very evenly matched series, ultimatley I think home court advantage will be the determining factor.
Knicks in 6
Game 1 – Sat May 5 at Knicks, 3:30 P.M. ABC
Game 2 – Tues May 7 at Knicks, 7:00 P.M. TNT
Game 3 – Sat May 11 at Pacers, 8:00 P.M. ABC
Game 4 – TBD
Game 5 * TBD
Game 6 * TBD
Game 7 * TBD
Season Series (Tied 2-2)
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers have played 35 playoff games
Indiana leads the all-time series 18-17
Longest Winning Streak by Knicks: 3 games
Longest Winning Streak by Pacers: 3 games
Most Points Scored by Knicks: 109 (May 6, 1993)
Most Points Scored by Pacers: 118 (May 10, 1998)
Largest Margin of Victory by Knicks: +19 (May 9, 1995)
Largest Margin of Victory by Celtics: +23 (May 4, 1993)