Indiana Pacers: 3 takeaways from statement win against the New York Knicks

Indiana Pacers, Caris LeVert - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Caris LeVert - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are making big strides as a defensive unit

No one probably expected Domantas Sabonis‘ picture to be spreadeagled in a post about defense, right?

Still, the Indiana Pacers played that well on defense against the New York Knicks that Domas, normally a so-so defender at best, deserves a shoutout. While the All-Star didn’t end up with another mind-boggling stat line, his defensive engagement, a very welcome gift, may be a sign that the Blue and Gold is starting to figure it out defensively.

Coming in the game, New York sported the fourth-best offensive rating in the league, and ranked fourth and first on three-point accuracy  and made triples per game, respectively. After the game? the Knicks finished with 98 points, sinking only five out of 24 tries from downtown, a massive drop-off from their previous average of 16.6 makes per outing.

Another interjection? Julius Randle, Kemba Walker, and Evan Fournier, three of their top scorers, combined for 36 points. This was easily the most consistent that the Pacers have been defensively for an entire 48 minutes.

While Indiana is still 23rd in defensive rating, their recent string of games are good indications that they are starting to make big strides as a point preventing squad. If they can maximize their potential on that end, then their record can expect a turnaround sooner than later.