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Game Preview: New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers

New York (20-24, won last 2) @ Indiana (25-17, lost last 1)

Key Stats

New York

* 97.66 points per game (9th in the NBA) vs. 96.16 points allowed per game (16th)

* 44% FG (18th) vs. 44.4% FG allowed (14th)

* 41.84 rpg (17th) vs. 42.41 rebounds allowed (19th)

Mar. 16, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33), power forward David West (21) and New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) anticipate a rebound during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

* 2-.18 apg (21st) vs. 16.57 TO pg (29th)

Indiana

* 95.52 ppg (16th) vs. 92.69 points allowed (5th)

* 43.1% FG (26th) vs. 43.1% FG allowed (8th)

* 43.52 rppg (5th) vs. 42.57rebounds allowed (20th)

* 18.07 appg (30th) vs. 14.29 TO pg (8th)

Position-by-position Matchups

PG-Jeremy Lin vs. Darren Collison

SG-Landry Fields vs. Paul George

SF-Carmelo Anthony vs. Danny Granger

PF-Amar’e Stoudemire vs. David West

C-Tyson Chandler vs. Roy Hibbert

Key Reserves

New York-Iman Shumpert, Jared Jeffries, J.R. Smith, Baron Davis, Steve Novak

Indiana-Tyler Hansbrough, A.J. Price, George Hill, Dahntay Jones, Lou Amundson

Injuries of note

New York-None

Indiana-Jeff Foster (back, out)

Breakdown:

What is there to say after the Pacers suffered a 15 point manhandling at the hands of the Knicks at Madison Square Garden just last night? The Pacers have very little time to study what went wrong before squaring off with New York at home tonight, but it should be fairly obvious. The Knicks out-shot the Pacers 51% to 40%, doubled the Pacers’ assist:turnover ratio and out-rebounded the Pacers 44-39. After building a 16-point lead at halftime, the Pacers’ poor shooting, lackadaisical defense and Roy Hibbert’s inability to do anything vs. Tyson Chandler’s defense, closing out Indiana the rest of the way was fairly easy. By the end, the 15-point loss didn’t depict the bloodbath that actually ensued; New York scored an unreal 38 points in the third quarter, heading into the final period with a 27 point lead.\

Indiana basically underperformed statistically across the board, allowing more points and a higher field goal percentage on defense than is their season average, and committing more turnovers to fewer assists on offense. While the Blue and Gold did score 100 points, that wouldn’t have even happened had the game been closer, and New York had elected to leave its starters in longer.

Of ten total starters for both teams, only Landry Fields played more than 30 minutes in the game, and he was limited to 32 minutes in the blowout, so both teams will be fairly rested for tonight’s matchup. Indiana will need to be energetic and focused, especially defensively, in order to avoid another early deficit. And with so many people staying home, tuned in to the Indiana Hoosiers’ 7:10 matchup with VCU, Bankers Life Fieldhouse (regularly the league’s lowest attended) may not serve as a very good home court advantage. Everyone needs to step up; while five Pacers scored in double-figures, only one starter (Darren Collison) met that standard, and most of the bench players’ points came when the game was out of hand. If Danny Granger really thinks this game is “winnable,” he’s going to have to do more than score 9 points on 4-15 shooting tonight, especially if Hibbert continues to struggle.

Prediction: Pacers 99, Knicks 90

I’m not ready to jump off of a ledge yet. New York was fresh and motivated by Granger’s “winnable” comment last night, and they came out aggressive. But Indiana is just a few days shy of beating a much better Philadelphia team, in convincing fashion, at Bankers Life, so handling the Knicks there tonight is certainly doable.

Fantasy Outlook:

No one expected such a blowout last night, but if the game is closer your regulars should still be plays tonight. As before, be careful with Lin, who has not been nearly as effective since Anthony’s return from injury, and may be generally ineffective going forward in Mike Woodson’s system. He was solid last night, but unspectacular with 13/5/5 in 25 minutes.

Lucas Klipsch moves in silence like Lasagna. Wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense…Follow him on Twitter @LukeNukem317

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