Pacers Up 3-1, But Knicks Still Dangerous

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NEW YORK – The Miami Heat are waiting.

The Indiana Pacers know they have what it takes to challenge the defending champs. In Paul George, they have a guy to guard LeBron James. In Roy Hibbert, they have a guy to protect the rim. They have the size to take advantage of the Heat on the glass. They won the season series, 2-1.

But the Pacers have to take care of business against the New York Knicks first. Only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series, but the Knicks might not be an easy opponent to keep down.

As bad as things have looked for New York over the last two games — and they’ve looked really bad — this is a dangerous team. The Knicks ranked third in offensive efficiency in the regular season and we saw a glimpse of their potency in Game 2.

At the same time, we saw how bad the Pacers can look offensively. Turnovers, bad spacing, missed shots. It was all there. Over the course of the four games thus far, the Knicks (who were a below-average defensive team) have held them under a point per possession.

The Pacers’ defense has been terrific in this series, particularly in Game 4, when the Knicks tried to throw the kitchen sink at them. But it’s been terrific because there’s been no let-up. It takes both effort and focus to defend on that level, and it would be easy to think a Game 6 at home allows Indy to not bring their best in Game 5 on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, TNT).

Written on the board in the Knicks’ locker room after Game 4 was, “Win one, change everything.” And that might be right. New York is desperately searching for answers right now, but if they can find them on Thursday, it could get the ball rolling.

All you have to do is look back to mid-March, when the Knicks had lost four straight and 10 of their last 16 games. Their offense was in a funk, having scored less than 90 points per 100 possessions during the four-game losing streak. Carmelo Anthony was out and J.R. Smith was struggling.

Then, in Utah, Mike Woodson made a lineup change. The Knicks broke out of their slump, won 13 straight games and pulled ahead of the Pacers in the standings.

Woodson is likely to go back to the lineup that sparked that run — with Pablo Prigioni in the backcourt — after going away from it in Game 4. Nothing will come easy against the Pacers’ defense, nothing looks good when the shots don’t go in and the Knicks must find a way to keep Indiana off the glass. But small-ball is how the Knicks won 54 games this season and how they got past the Boston Celtics in the first round.

If they’re going to send this series back to Indiana, the Knicks must remember how they got here.

If they’re going to finish it in five, the Pacers need to do the same.

23 Comments

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  2. Pacers can & will Beat the heat!!!

  3. Dedicated to this says:

    The Knicks aren’t more dangerous now because of the win to make the series 3-2. They have a better shot at taking the series to 7 because George Hill will not play in game 6. In my opinion I believe J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudmire are the Knicks downfall. Smith’s numbers aren’t great against other elite teams and lets face it Amare isn’t elite at all. Melo is forced to take those shots because no one else is going to. Then lets look at his past, he was brought in the league playing one on one when he was with the Nuggets and I think after all these years his game isn’t going to change anytime soon.

  4. GSG says:

    Honestly, niether of the two teams can beat the heat.
    But the team that can give miami a hard time, a real challenge, that’d be the pacers.

  5. Go Pacers!!! Now Close it out @ home!

  6. realist2013 says:

    The knicks arent better. Melo and Smith are their offense. neither have been efficient in this series and I’d say felton is their third scorer. Indiana has the advantage on defense and offense. Indiana has 4 players that can put pressure on the Knicks D. Melo takes a lot of jump shots. He needs to bang in the post and make them respect him to force a double team to get that ball movement going. Spot kidd, felton and smith early and get them in the offense.

  7. robbycater says:

    the pacers are obviously the better more complete team. the pacers have an excellent defence and can score when needed, ther bench steps up as well. the knicks won 50+ games but it wasnt against teams who shut it down on the outside. just because the knicks have more notable flashy players doesnt make them the better team. “scoreboard”

  8. gerald martin says:

    i don’t think the knicks are gonna lose on treir home court thursday. they will come out with eveything they have.

  9. Clos says:

    this is to let you guys know that Pacers will defeat and are a better team then the Knicks. We had a bad 4th quarter that couldve potentially ended the series already. Go Pacers, Miller Time!!

  10. I cant belive tht the Pacers won (I didnt get to watch all of the game) I’m shocked

  11. H E A T FAN #6, 3 &1 says:

    New York Knicks need help somewhere… I really don’t care who Wins the series.. The Heat is waiting. ….!

  12. zgillet says:

    Letting JR ruin entire stretches of the game is all on Woodson when Copeland and Novak are riding pine.

  13. Oulech says:

    I think it is safe now to say that Carmelo will never win a championship ever. His style of play annoys me so much!

    • Game Time says:

      You never know. I didn’t think Kidd would ever get one after the Nets and look how things ended up for him and Dirk. Melo will more than likely get one in his career, but I highly doubt any more than that.

  14. ray.v says:

    True pacers where missing alot of shots out there Tuesday.Did you see how many turnovers they had , Alot if the pacers keep doing that we have a good shot of wining the series. Jr smith was struggling out there hes better then that. Go Nyk!

  15. A Dodson says:

    The Knicks are a better team then the Pacer”s but that’s the whole thing if the coach dose not play the people that got them there it’s the coaches that lost the games for the Knicks Copeland can play ,Camby a nother big body that knows how to play Novak can spread the floor why is not playing ask M. Woodson

    • AL says:

      I agree, I don’t think I know better than Woodson , but for the life of me I can’t understand why he isn’t using that roster better. The pacers are the best team defensively this year & you can’t just try to outscore them . Where is the Knicks defense which held the Celtics to 8 points in a quarter?

  16. heatnation says:

    knicks wont let the pacers close them out today, but they will be dealt with on the next game, that way miami has more time to rest :-)

  17. W/E says:

    Curmelo and Shmith are overated, they choke big time in the playoffs every year,their team is too old, even their rookies are too old, i mean it would really be a suprise if the Knicks were performing good in the playoffs, instead they are BAD as expected, their roster is old and their 2 scorers are NOT doing well in the playoffs they are jacking shots and lose games like they always do every year no matter whats their team.

  18. S. Benjamin says:

    I don’t think the Knicks are the better team, I see them as slightly overrated. The Pacers also have a much better chance of beating Miami.

  19. newyorksteelo says:

    The Knicks are a much better team. They just need to believe it and believe in themselves!

    • theholyspectator says:

      wouldnt the better team already bee doing that?

      • HailMelo says:

        I am a knicks fan, but unfortunately I dont see us getting past the pacers. an injection of youth into the team would be nice. In my opinion over the whole playoffs campaign, Shumpert has ben our best performer. Hopefully we can make the Pacers earn it at least.