Indiana Pacers (32-21)
New York Knicks (32-18)
Tonight’s game should be a great way to get the next part of the season underway. It’s been a week since the Pacers have been in action, and what better game to go than against the New York Knicks, who are just above the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings. The Pacers have worked hard to get where they are, but that second spot in the East is very doable if they can catch the Knicks. Having split the season series, it should be interesting to see what unfolds tonight. Also, the Knicks didn’t have Carmelo Anthony for the last meeting, which could present problems for the Pacers.
That’s the key to this victory tonight, keeping Anthony in check. It’s going to be up to David West to defend Anthony most of the night. If he can’t keep up with him, it’ll be a long evening for the Pacers. Other guys might have to help out, which could present some open shots for the Knicks. Defending at their best will get the Pacers in the best position. Seeing how Paul George responds to his first All Star bid will be huge as well. Can he continue the upswing he’s been having? It would have been great to see Danny Granger back in action, but now that’s put off for another day. Hopefully Friday night is the return, and at home will definitely help the spirits of that.
But the Pacers’ defense is something I want to keep coming back to. They’ve been pretty tough at times, especially holding the Knicks to a season low in points last time out, which happened right after playing the Miami Heat, and doing the same thing to them. Now a week off is probably going to bring some rusty, even though word is the Pacers had one of their best practices yesterday, so maybe that bodes well for tonight. I expect a tough physical game like this series back in the 1990’s. Banker’s Life Fieldhouse should be rockin’ for the Blue and Gold. The Pacers can definitely pul this out if their defense comes to play. The offense has been clicking lately, but that defense has really carried the team. As a fan, I love it, and expect good things tonight out of the Pacers.