Keys to a Pacers victory versus the Knicks in round two

After a 4-2 victory over the Bucks, the Pacers will head to New York to kick off the series against the Knicks on May 6.
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

T.J. McConnell and Obi Toppin were the stars of game six, combining for 41 points, and were the leading scorers in the game for the Pacers. Tyrese Haliburton, Pascal Siakam, Aaron Nesmith, and Andrew Nembhard were all in double figures as well and this is with a five-point game from Myles Turner, who was in foul trouble all game.

The Knicks will continue to be without Julius Randle and Bojan Bogdanovic and have been running a seven-man rotation this playoff run. One big thing the Pacers need to focus on is attacking the paint and getting the Knicks into foul trouble as well as tiring them out. Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo have played a full game in their run and OG Anunoby and Jalen Brunson each played over 40 minutes each game.

On offense, the Pacers tend to take a huge amount of threes and in some games, they go in but in some games, it is a big struggle. They have a great group of strong players who can draw fouls and play through contact in the paint. Siakam, Turner, and Nesmith all have the ability to crash and get to the line whenever they want.

Defensively, it is important to put Nembhard on Brunson to try and stop his scoring outburst as much as possible. Brunson is a 30–40-point threat each night and being able to take him out of the game defensively is important. It is also important to take away their three-point shooting, as they have threats from the perimeter in Donte DiVincenzo and Miles McBride.

The bench has been continuing to be a threat in every game that they play. Ben Sheppard has been playing very well for his first playoff experience. Utilizing our current eight-man rotation is important, and like last game make sure someone like Isaiah Jackson or Jalen Smith is ready in case Turner gets in early foul trouble again.

It is important for the Pacers to continue pushing on offense and improving on defense, as holding the Bucks to under 100 points in game six was a step in the right direction. Holding the Knicks to less than 100 points will be daunting, but with Nembhard and Nesmith locking down Brunson and Divincenzo, it can happen.

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The series starts in Madison Square Garden which will be a huge deal if the Pacers can get one or two wins away and it will only set them up for their home games.