Series: Pacers Lead 3-2
When: 8:00 PM
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)
Pacers (#3 Seed, 49-32)
SG: Lance Stephenson
SF: Paul George
PF: David West
C: Roy Hibbert
Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28)
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Pablo Prigioni
SF: Iman Shumpert
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler
Step One of the Knicks attempt at the “Miracle” comeback was completed with a win in Game Five on Thursday.
Now comes the hard part.
Winning in Indiana this year has been unbelievably hard for the Knicks this season. They are 0-4 and only one of those games was really even close.
The effort and energy shown by the Pacers in the two games played there this series has been much better than what the Knicks brought.
It was the difference in the wins that Indy had to take control of this series. In Game Five, things changed as the Knicks, with their backs against the wall, played like it and got the win.
The law of averages say that the open shots the Knicks were missing in Indy will start to fall. If only we knew that was going to be a guarantee.
To me the key points to beating the Pacers are keeping the rebounding edge for Indy in check, force them into turnovers and be aggressive on offense.
In Game Five the edge in rebounding for the Pacers was only 3 (compared to +18 in Game Four), the Pacers turned it over 19 times and the offense did a nice job balancing isolation with pick and roll.
If the Knicks can duplicate that in Game Six, they will be heading back home for Game Seven and not heading home for the season.
Indiana earned the chance to clinch the series at home by stealing Game One from the Knicks at the Garden. They are 5-0 at home this postseason and have won by double digits in every one of those games.
We have seen this team rise up on the road in this postseason in the Boston series and get a big win. They are going to have to do it all again except this time they don’t have the cushion of a Game Seven.
In 1994, 1995 and 1999 this franchise walked into Indiana needing a win and got it. Lets all hope that the 2012-2013 Knicks add their name to that legacy.
The “Miracle” is within grasp. Lets see if the Knicks take another step in the right direction tonight and get this back to the Garden on Monday night.
Five Questions About Tonight’s Game
- Can the Knicks keep the Pacers rebounding edge in check?
- Who will step up to help Melo?
- How will Hill look in his return to the lineup?
- What will Copeland provide tonight?
- What kind of game will Chandler and Felton have?