New York Knicks (6-1)
Indiana Pacers (4-6)
We are in for a treat this afternoon as the Pacers and Knicks tangle it up from Madison Square Garden. Sure this isn’t the Pacers and Knicks of the 90’s, but I still want to beat this team every time the Pacers play them. It’s just that feeling of how much the media pays attention to the Knicks, even when they are bad. It would be even sweeter today to beat the Knicks as they’ve jumped out to 6-1 and looking pretty good this season.
The Pacers looked like a different team on Friday night, so hopefully that team shows up to play today. There was a flow to the offense that was missing. The defense really came through in holding the Dallas Mavericks to 83 points, which is almost 20 points under their season average. It’s going to take that type of effort to get a win in the hallowed grounds of MSG. What better way to show that the Pacers are coming back around than a win today.
Looking over some of the match ups, I like the Pacers in two areas. With David West at power forward going against Carmelo Anthony, the Pacers should look to feed West in the post as Anthony is not a great defender. On the other side, guys might have to help out on defense as West will have to guard Anthony in all areas of the floor. That could be an advantage for the Knicks as well. Anthony likes to get out and score, so West will have to be on his toes defensively.
Another position battle to watch is Jason Kidd and Lance Stephenson. I didn’t know the Knicks moved Kidd to the shooting guard position, but if he guards Stephenson, Stephenson should take advantage of that. He should be aggressive in driving to the basket, and should be able to get some points that way. Defensively, I like Stephenson to keep Kidd in check as he’s improved on that side of the ball.
This should be a fun game to watch to see which teams brings it more. The Pacers coming off that great win on Friday night and the Knicks coming off their first loss, both have something to prove. It could be a close battle coming to the end, which has been the story of this Pacers season. But if the Pacers come out and play like Friday night, I love their chances in this game.