Two teams that met in the playoffs with the Indiana Pacers getting the best out of that series. Everyone will remember that fantastic block by Roy Hibbert on Carmelo Anthony, and now there’s Chris Copeland on the Pacers as they try to out battle the Knicks again. Some good pieces are still there in New York, so I imagine they’ll be near the top of the Conference as well. Carmelo Anthony looked fantastic last season, and will have to be just as good this coming season if the Knicks want to be up there in title contention. Raymond Felton seemed to be that good fit at point guard for the Knicks, so the Pacers will do what they can to contain him.
The big men of New York in Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, and A’mare Stoudemire might give problems to the front of the Indiana Pacers. I expect plenty of physical interactions between Hibbert and West with those guys. Then, I can get to Metta World Peace, who ends up back “home” in his town of New York. Who knows anymore what kind of game World Peace has, but you can bet he’s bringing all he’s got to the table. I am sure Pacers fans will love seeing him show up a couple of times in Indy during the regular season. That’s the big storyline to watch for the Knicks as World Peace needs to fit in with Carmelo Anthony. I feel like that could blow up some point, but maybe now that World Peace is at his veteran stage, and Anthony wants to just win that title, things will work.
The Pacers are going to have bring their best when New York comes to play, especially since I do believe that both teams are right there at the top of the Eastern Conference. They might even have to meet up again come playoff time, so the best effort is needed. I love watching Paul George go at Carmelo Anthony a bit as George is ready to prove what a defensive guy he is. Then you add in Metta World Peace going at it with Paul George, and you will have George trying to do all he can defensively. As far as the series, this series still makes me think of those “old days” of Reggie Miller, John Starks, the Davis Brothers, Spike Lee, Anthony Mason, Larry Johnson, and all those encounters of these teams. It starts to feel like that now as both teams are good, so that’s always a good thing. Not many “heated” rivalries going in the NBA right now, but to me, the Knicks and Pacers will always be that.