Blogtable: Pacers Or Knicks No. 2 In East?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 23: Taking Spurs or Thunder? | Pacers or Knicks No. 2 in East? | Team ready to pull a playoff upset?

Who’s better at full strength, the Pacers or Knicks? Who do you see as the No. 2 seed in the East?

Steve Aschburner: It’s hard to say how good Indiana would be at full strength because we never saw Danny Granger back and carving out a role in the Pacers’ new Paul George-oriented pecking order. I still maintain that would have been mostly good. And the Pacers’ bench issues are going to recede now with the playoffs looming. Indiana has a more favorable schedule to the finish, in my view, so I’m liking them at No. 2 — and as one half of a solid Eastern Conference finals.

Fran Blinebury: We know already that the Pacers won’t be at full strength since Danny Granger is lost for the season. But I still give what’s left of the Indiana lineup an edge over the Knicks. You’ve always got to take good defense over good offense and the Pacers have the best defense in the league. Never mind the Heat and Spurs juggling their lineups to get rest for the playoffs. Pacers coach Frank Vogel says his team is driving for the No. 2 seed to get as much home-court advantage as possible.

Jeff Caplan: Maybe it’s just because I’ve seen the Pacers more recently and the Knicks have been banged up for a while, but I really like what Frank Vogel has got going with his bunch (yes, I saw the near-meltdown at the Clippers). Paul George is sensational and David West is playing at a high level. Their defense is smothering and now that Roy Hibbert is playing better, this team is multidimensional and dangerous. As for the Knicks, this nine-game win streak is nice, and needed, but there’s a lot of fluff in there. I just don’t see how the elder Knicks hold up in a seven-game series with either Indy or Miami, and frankly, I could see Chicago (with a healthy Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli) pushing New York to the limit in a potential 3-6 first-round series. So mark me down as picking the Pacers to take the No. 2 seed.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Pacers and Pacers. While this is the perfect time to ask the question, with both teams playing well, Indiana is more dependable with its success based on defense and rebounding. New York needs to beat people with shooting, often 3-point shooting, and that is not as reliable.

John Schuhmann: Even if you take Danny Granger out of the equation, the answer has to be Indiana. The Pacers have been a much better defensive team all season, and they’ve been just a hair worse than the Knicks offensively since the All-Star break. They’ve got a guy — Paul George — who can take on the Melo assignment and, by far, the best 3-point defense in the league, which is obviously a huge factor against the 3-point-happy Knicks. The Pacers can certainly have some ugly stretches offensively, but New York hasn’t shown any kind of defensive consistency all season. I feel much better about this pick than my Spurs-over-Thunder pick.

Sekou Smith: The Pacers seem like the more stable pick, the more reliable group in terms of the consistency they bring on a nightly basis. But at full strength, I’m going with the Knicks. They have, in Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, two elite scorers capable of taking games over at any time. They also have a defensive anchor in Tyson Chandler as well. Much has been made this season, and rightfully so, about the job Frank Vogel has done with Indiana. But I’d argue that Mike Woodson has done as good a coaching job of anyone in the league when you factor in the games his players have missed to injury and the fact that he’s working with half a roster that could star in “Cocoon 3.” The Knicks are the No. 2 team in the East.


  1. D-Reppin says:

    Knicks is a wild-card. They’ve found some rhythm as of late, but we’ve seen this all season; Knicks have a spell of good basketball, then they revert. How long will this spell last? Like one of the guys said above, I’d take consistent defense and rebounding over 3-point shooting any day. Pacers record consist of hard fought wins and good basketball. They struggle offensively, but good defense is the best offense. Knicks has always been better with Melo on the floor, and this is where the “competitiveness” of these two teams come into play. The Melo Factor is too big to ignore; when he has looks he’ll hit anything and everything. Pacers play their game and they have the edge, NYK get some open shots/Pacers D falls and Knicks will steal it. Either way, it goes one of two ways: Pacers come out on top or Knicks get lucky. I give Pacers the edge simply because Melo is injury prone and I don’t see him performing with Paul George in his face 4+ games.

  2. Isaac says:

    New York Knicks! 10game winning streak soon to be 11… yeah!

  3. theholyspectator says:

    knicks has too many offensive weapons when they are all in the zone…tho pacers defense is pretty stellar…but the way its lookin and their schedule…knicks got the 2nd seed

  4. Tyler Banks says:

    Yeah, let Indiana be #2 seed, i’ll give the Pacers to face the Celtics, in the playoffs, all day. I’ll just hope NY will face Atlanta in playoffs (hope Chi-town will go to #5)

  5. ThatGuy says:

    I’ll take the Pacers for the #2 seed. Easier schedule than the Knicks, and they’ll seal their fate with the match-up against the Knicks on the 14th. However, the Knicks are the second best team in the conference, and will show that if they meet in the playoffs

  6. Karlo Garcia says:

    Better at full strength r the Knicks mainly because I seen them play more often than the Pacers. I still c New York just holding on the #2 seed in the East.

  7. JR says:

    A lot of talk about Granger out. No mention of Amare ?

    • pglive21 says:

      Probably because the Knicks have generally been better without Amare for the past two season. Not saying he can’t improve their overall ceiling but the Knicks and Woodson haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

  8. Ryan Morgan says:

    And yes I am a pacers fan!!! But the way Roy, west, Tyler, Paul, George Hill and orlando johnson are playing its hard to say they won’t take the number 2 spot. Healthy the Knicks are a tough team to beat. And even banged up I’m hoping we don’t meet them in the post season.

  9. Ryan Morgan says:

    The number one defensive team in the league is definitely going to take the number two seed. And of course I’m talking about the Pacers. I have an answer for Kenyon Martin at the power forward position, and that’s Tyler Hansborough. I also have an answer for Melo, and that’s Paul George. I’m not saying Paul will shut him down, but I am saying he will slow him down, he is the best defensive small forward in the game.

  10. awsny says:

    The 3-ball is HUGE for the Knicks. They are HARD to beat if they are knocking down shots . The 3 ball isn’t reliable but they’ll get some wins off of it. However, Ny is even better than they were earlier this season.

    SMITH is playing at a whole new level. He’s taking it to the hole (thanks to coach) which is something that you CAN rely on much more than jump shots. It’ill give him confidants to knock down his shots too. Martin is a HUGE addition that came out of left feild. He makes the Knicks much tougher than earlier in the season when Ny lost to the Pacers, the Bulls,ect… Martin and Chandler are a defense to be respected. Even Shump is starting to find his rhythm so there’s yet another reason why the Knicks are better now than before. He can easily put points on the board if he’s at his best. The wild card is Stat because I thought that Smith didn’t play nearly as good with stat in the line up. If you had smith playing at his best AND stat knocken down easy shots in the post?

    The Pacers are a scary team and I’ve been telling that to Knicks fans for a little bit now. I wouldn’t be suprised to see the pacers at #2 when it’s all said and done. The Knicks are a wild card though and they could snatch that 2 seed with a little luck. The scary thing is the sky is the limit if they have a little bit of luck.

  11. FansAreBiased says:

    The Pacers aren’t ready for a line-up of K-Mart, Anthony, and Chandler? LOL! Have you heard of David West, Hibbert, and George!? I think the P’s can hold their own. I think whomever finishes second will win the series!

  12. nykallday says:

    I agree with Sekou Smith, let’s not forget that the Knicks have added Kenyon Martin. Mike Woodson has said in a game against the bigger teams like the Bulls or Pacers, he would be forced to move Carmelo Anthony at small forward and play Tyson Chandler at center and Kenyon Martin at power foward. The Pacers aren’t ready for that lineup and the with the way Melo, J.R and K-Mart playing and the return of Tyson Chandler, Knicks are going to the 2 seed!

  13. I’m going to try not to be to bias since I’m a Knick fan. The Pacers and Bulls probably give us the biggest problems, however since the acquisition of Kenyon Martin I’m feeling a little more confident about our chances. We have veteran experience in the playoffs and the Pacers are fairly young so I’m gonna give the advantage to the Knicks. I give it 6 to 7 games.