¡CINCO DE KNICKO!
Game Time Start: 3:30 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Officials: D. Crawford, M. Davis, M. Smith, E. Lewis
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / WEPN 98.7 FM
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, New York Notes
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Season Records: (W-L) 0 53-34
Upcoming Games: May 07 May 11 May -- May -- at vs vs vs 7:00 PM 8:00 PM TBD TBD
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: CHANDLER ANTHONY SHUMPERT FELTON PRIGONI
Danny Granger - left knee surgery (out)
Steve Novak - back spasms (doubtful)
Amar'e Stoudemire - right knee debridement (out)
Perpetually Disappointing Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:
Eight Points Nine Seconds: Jared Wade: Pacers vs. Knicks Preview - Where Do These Teams Stand?
The State of the Pacers and Knicks is tough to ascertain. All season long, they were the
second- and third-best best teams in the Eastern Conference. With all due respect to the
Nets (which after last night, really isn’t much), there was never a time when any of
Brooklyn, Chicago, Atlanta or Boston looked like they were in the same weight class as
Indiana and New York.
To start the year, the New York boys were superior.
They began the season looking like the 1970 Knicks re-incarnated, smoking all comers.
They won their first six games (including victories over Miami and in San Antonio), and
raced out to an 18-5 record (10-0 at home) by December 15. At the time, they were
hitting an outlandish 41.0% of their threes while taking more than 29 per game and
scoring at a rate of 111 points per 100 possessions.
It was madness. People were talking about Carmelo for MVP.
Meanwhile, the Pacers sucked.
Danny Granger was a last-minute scratch (to the public anyway) from the roster, and
the newly anointed young leaders of the team were playing like dirt. Roy Hibbert, fresh
off a huge summer payday, couldn’t make a shot. Paul George was dribbling around in
pick-and-rolls like a baby deer learning to walking, trying to split double teams that he
couldn’t split, turning the ball over carelessly and throwing passes into the stands.
The Pacers were losing to teams like the Bobcats, Raptors and Timberwolves while
barely getting by the Kings and Wizards.
Then the roles reversed somewhat.
New York lost on Christmas then lost Raymond Felton to injury. It changed the whole
dynamic of their offense. When Amar’e Stoudemire returned, playing his first game on
New Year’s Day, the team’s on-court identity changed even further. New York went 16-
12 in the 28 games Stoudemire played.
He wasn’t the sole cause (Ray’s injury was huge, their earlier play was unsustainable,
Carmelo cooled off, etc.), but it was a long stretch when a juggernaut turned into just
another pretty-good team. The team’s fans and analysts started to doubt whether this
team could hang with the conference’s best.
Which at the time were the Heat, obviously, and … the Pacers.
As New York fell, the Pacers — and especially Paul George — started putting it all
together. Their defense became historically great, and there wasn’t a team in the
league that could dominate them. Indiana was essentially in every game as points were
hard to come by and they subjected the opposition to a grinding, disciplined defensive
philosophy that no...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
SB Nation: Tom Ziller: Knicks vs. Pacers preview
In the regular season, Paul George was awesome and the Knicks shot the hell out of
the three. Will either happen in the second round?
Neither the New York Knicks nor the Indiana Pacers had particularly easy times of it in
the first round. It took six for each to advance, and the Knicks almost let their opponent,
the Boston Celtics, come back from a huge deficit to send it to seven. But alas, the clear-
cut second- and third-best teams in the East meet for a chance to, in all likelihood, face
the juggernaut Heat in the East finals.
This series, however, is anything but clear-cut. Here are two factors that I feel loom
The reliability of Paul George
George is the Pacers' top scorer and possibly best player. He was pretty good in the first
round. Well, in four of the games. He was mediocre in another and pretty awful
offensively (2-10, four points, seven rebounds, seven assists) in Indiana's clinching Game
6 win. Needless to say, the Pacers really need Good Paul George to beat the Knicks, who
are substantially better than the Hawks. One of the great things about George is that
even when he shoots poorly, he contributes. In the first round he averaged 9.5 rebounds
and five assists per game. But Indiana is so light offensively that the team really needs
George shot the three poorly against Atlanta (7-25, .280) after racking them up all season
long (36 percent on six attempts per game). But he was able to make up for it by getting
to the line much more frequently than usual; he averaged eight free throw attempts per
game in Round 1, after getting just 3.5 per game in the regular season. The shot wasn't
falling, so he attacked. This was especially evident in Game 1, when he went 0-5 from
long-range but earned 18 FTAs.
It's worth noting that the Knicks are mediocre at defending the three (No. 15 in the NBA
in opponent three-point percentage) and quite willing to foul (No. 24 in opponent free
throw rate). The Knicks had a seriously mediocre defensive season, and while New
York's defense looked fine against Boston most of the time, how much of that is
attributable to an anemic Celtics attack is a legit question. The potential of Paul George
to get loose and stay that way against New York is real. Whether he can do it consistently
over a six- or seven-game series remains to be seen. (The other scorer for Indy, David
West, is Mr. Reliable. Forgive...CONTINUE READING AT SB NATION
Posting and Toasting: Seth Rosenthal: Here are some thoughts about the Knicks-Pacers
- This was a weird season series. The Knicks took that first game when the Pacers were
still in their terrible first month of the season. They were still figuring out how to play
sports without Danny Granger. The Pacers barely edged the Melo-less, Felton-less
Knicks in Indiana in January, and neither J.R. Smith nor Amar'e Stoudemire played well
in that game. The teams were at their completest in the February meeting, which saw
the Pacers absolutely dismantle New York at home. That game was never close. Then
the Knicks clinched their second seed with a pretty encouraging Chandler-less win over
the Pacers in April (during the P&T meet-up). They forced 26 turnovers in that one.
- And Indiana was the league's third most turnover-prone team this regular season, so
there's reason to believe that kind of performance is repeatable (perhaps not 26
turnovers, but a lot). The Pacers also don't force many turnovers.
- One of many reasons I'm sad the Knicks didn't sweep the Celtics is that Carmelo
Anthony now has just one day to rest a still-sore shoulder (it sounds like it's been
partially dislocated a few times, if that's a thing). And now he has to face David West,
who is like the next evolution of Brandon Bass (Zubass -> Golbass) and liable to gnaw
on that shoulder, and Paul George, who's a tougher defender than Jeff Green.
- That said, if Melo has the mettle to attack and draw fouls consistently, that could
make a huge difference in the series. The Pacers' bench looks nearly as weak as the
Celtics', and it doesn't even hit threes. As a team, the Pacers were 22nd in the league
in three-point percentage this season (worse than the Celtics).
- When the Pacers do go with George on Melo, they'll probably have to do some weird
mismatching and put West on Iman Shumpert. I feel much better about Shump's ability
to punish that match-up than I did previously.
- Then again, didn't Woodson talk about possibly going big against the Pacers? I hope
he doesn't do that...CONTINUE READING AT POSTING AND TOASTING
KnickerBlogger: David Vertsberger: Are big lineups necessary to oust Indiana?
From an opening night beatdown of the Miami Heat to their narrow victory over Boston in
Game 6 of the first round, the New York Knicks have won many a game playing primarily
with small lineups. These lineups often feature Carmelo Anthony — long believed to be a
prototypical small forward — at the four spot. This not only helps space the floor for a
thriving three-heavy offense; it also gives Anthony more room than he’s ever had to
operate in isolation, seeing as how he’s sharing the floor with a single big man.
On the flip side, having Anthony guard opposing power forwards — even if they’re bigger
and stronger — has yet to curtail New York’s success with these lineups.
However, this may change against the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers pride themselves on their physicality. The undeniable focal point of this
persona is power forward David West, a 240-pound beast on the low block who
overwhelms most “natural” fours. Anthony cannot be considered as such, and has
struggled to contain the fierce West in their meetings this season:
The one game in which West struggled to get going? Anthony was inactive and the Knicks
went with a large frontcourt of Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby. Anthony’s ability to
defend West in spurts notwithstanding, he’ll likely be battered and bruised within a few
games. West plays a relentless...CONTINUE READING AT KNICKERBLOGGER
Ball Don’t Lie: 2012-2013 Playoff Previews: New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers
Somehow, the NBA survived its regular season and first round of the postseason with
enough players to field eight teams, so we’re just going to go ahead and begin the
conference semifinals. The minds behind Ball Don’t Lie are going to preview each
second-round series, with Kelly Dwyer going against character for a more genial take,
Dan Devine bringing his inimitable mixture of both order and bedlam, along with Eric
Freeman’s legendary look inside the reputations of some of the series’ key fixtures.
Kelly Dwyer’s Guide Vocal
In a way, it’s probably best that the Atlanta Hawks as you’ve long known them (or, at
least, long tolerated them) go out like this. In a first-round pairing with Indiana, with
most games probably due for NBA TV airings, anonymous as all get out. We’re not going
to pretend to know what’s going on in Danny Ferry’s head as he approaches an offseason
that will lead to the expiration of coach Larry Drew and forward Josh Smith’s contracts,
but based on Ferry’s fine work from last summer, it’s likely that the new’ish Atlanta GM
is looking to clean house this July.
After the slogfest that was the Indiana Pacers’ 4-2 first round victory over the Atlanta
Hawks, a sloughing off seems in order. Forget the tired small vs. big market
comparisons, the Pacers are relegated to the league’s second tier mostly because they
play an unassuming, withering brand of at-times bland basketball. This group was
created to minimize mistakes defensively, and attempt to hold its own offensively. And
now April’s top NBA TV team will be working in a nationally televised month.
The Indiana Pacers are also the worst possible thing that could happen to the New York
Knicks right now. Indiana’s volatile mix of length, defensive smarts, capable quickness
and potent depth will greet New York with what should be a terrifying problem. Even if
the Knicks improve measurably on the disappointment that was the final three games of
their series against the Boston Celtics, they will still be in for a test.
A massive test. And that’s with Carmelo Anthony’s left shoulder still hurting, a shoulder
that was originally hurt in a tough Knick win over the Pacers in the last week of the
regular season. That’s with Tyson Chandler at less than full strength, J.R. Smith coming
off of what was a questionable first round, and Raymond Felton set to square off against
a pair of tough defensive guards in George Hill and Lance Stephenson. On paper, the
Knicks are up against a team that seems designed to top them.
There’s just one problem, for Indiana. It’s all that star power. It might get in the way of
the paper leading the Pacers to their first conference finals in 13 years.
Indiana could barely handle the glare of working on the road in Atlanta in the first round.
The team wasn’t rattled, these are still professionals we’re talking about, but the middle
of the first round was alarming...CONTINUE READING AT BALL DON'T LIE
Eye On Basketball: Matt Moore: Knicks/Pacers Series Preview - Muscle vs. Melo
Did you love the 90's? Low-scoring, brutal affairs featuring a lot of hard fouls and ugly
offense performances? Then this series is for you.
It's offense vs. defense, with New York's isolation-heavy offense faces a much tougher
defense than it faced first-round, when it wasn't great.
There will be talk of the 90's rivalry, of Reggie and Spike, of the fights and toughness.
But this series is about how the two teams have spent all season battling back and forth
to determine who's the second-best team in the East.
The Pacers are built around sharing the ball, playing good defense, and roughing up the
opponent. The Knicks are built on crack shooting, star players, and drive-and-kick. It's
a clash of styles.
It will be ugly, it will be mean, and it will determine who the second-best team in the
Two-two split in the regular season.
The Knicks won early in the season and late in the year, when they were at their best,
the Pacers won in-between when they were at their best.
Both teams shot over 50 percent exactly once in the series, and that was in the same
game. There was a whole lot of grossness in this series through the regular season. You
have a lot of bad attitudes that are about to collide.
The big narrative:
Who's tougher? The Knicks make tough shots. The Pacers throw tough shots. These
games are likely to be low-scoring, slow-pace games that require a high level of
execution in key situations.
The Pacers have gotten very little publicity despite playing just as well or better than the
Knicks for the majority of the year...CONTINUE READING AT THE POINT FORWARD
Hardwood Paroxysm: Jared Dubin: Drive and Dish - Inside the Knicks Offense
After another massively disappointing offensive showing in Game 5, the Knicks have the
fourth worst offensive efficiency in the playoffs, and the second worst of the still
remaining teams. Only Boston’s is worse. Their playoff performance represents a stark
drop off from the magnificent offense the Knicks played for most of the regular season.
New York’s offensive efficiency has dropped 12.3 points in the playoffs, per NBA.com,
slumping from their 3rd ranked regular season mark of 108.6 to a 96.3 total that would
rank dead last in the league, a full 1.5 points behind the dreadful Washington Wizards
When a team is struggling offensively, the first place to look for root causes is shot
distribution. Shots in the paint are more efficient than jumpers, shots in the restricted
area are more efficient than shots in the paint but outside the restricted area, shots
from three are more efficient than shots from mid-range, corner threes are more
efficient than above the break threes, etc.
Unsurprisingly, the shot distribution is revealing. The Knicks have taken a higher
percentage of their shots from the least efficient areas on the floor (in the paint but
outside the restricted area, mid-range) while shooting a lower percentage of their shots
from the highest efficiency areas (inside the restricted area, from three). As if that isn’t
bad enough, the Knicks have also regressed in shooting performance in the areas where
the majority of their shots come from.
Already a below average team at shooting in the restricted area, the Knicks have been
unable to finish anything around the basket in the first round. Their 52.9 percent
conversion rate would have placed last in the league this season and is the worst of the
16 playoff teams this year. Of the 208 teams to make the playoffs since 2000, only 31
have shot worse in the restricted area during said playoffs. Only one team this
millennium (the immortal 2003-04 Chicago Bulls) converted a lower percentage of their
shots in the restricted area for a full season, and they checked in at 52.7 percent, just
0.2 percent worse than the Knicks’ playoff percentage.
Another major source of the problem...CONTINUE READING AT HARDWOOD PAROXYSM