The News came out early this morning, and it was not good.
The New York Knicks announced that NBA sixth man of the year JR Smith is questionable for game 3 against Indiana due to a 102 degree fever he has been battling since late last night.
If Smith cannot suit up for game 3 it is going to make things very difficult for the Knicks as they look to regian control of the series in Indiana. Even though JR has had a dissapointing series up until this point the attention that Indiana has to commit to him on defense opens up the lanes for the rest of the Knicks who share the floor whith the NBA’s sixth man of the year.
Smith averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds over the course of the regular season. But the playoffs have told a much different story as Smith has struggled to find his scoring touch averaging just 14.4 points and 4.7 rebounds this postseason. In the first two games against Indiana Smith is shooting an abysmal 7-30 from the field and has scored only 25 points.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson believes that with Smith’s status up in the air for game 3, Amare Stoudemire, who will return to the court for the first time since March 11th can really help his club:
The reality is that Amare Stoudamire has not played in an NBA game in over 2 months, and to expect him to work his way back into shape during a playoff game is quite simply asking too much. In fact even if Amare was operating at 100%, his performance against the Pacers historically has been sub par. Stoudemire’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) over the past two season against teams not names the Pacers has been a very respectable 23.4. Against Indiana – 10.3. This would suggest that like most offensive minded big men Amare struggles against the tough Pacers front line.
Game 1 – Pacers 102 Knicks 95
Game 2 – Knicks 105 Pacers 79
Game 3 – Sat May 11 at Pacers, 8:00 P.M. ABC
Game 4 – Tues May 14 at Pacers TNT
Game 5 – Thurs May 16 at Knicks 8:00 P.M. ESPN
Game 6 * Sat May 18 at Pacers ESPN
Game 7 * Mon May 20 at Knicks 8:00 P.M. TNT
Season Series (Tied 2-2)
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers have played 37 playoff games
Indiana leads the all-time series 19-18
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: +26 (May 7, 2013)
Largest Margin of Victory by Pacers: +23 (May 4, 1993)