The Indiana Pacers could benefit from New York fatigue

Pacers look to tire out Knicks' players racking up too many minutes without rest.
New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three
New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

As this series goes deeper for the Pacers, that works in their favor. Owning the best scoring regular season second unit, Indiana is a much deeper team than New York.

Knicks' coach Tom Thibodeau has only put in eight players per playoff game this series. The eighth player has yet to record more than five minutes of play.

Knicks guard Josh Hart played all 48 minutes of Games 1 and 2 while only sitting out for five minutes total in Game 3. Donte DiVincenzo has played 44 minutes in each of the Knicks' playoff games, as well.

With Game 4 looming, the Pacers have an advantage going into Game 5 no matter what. Their opponent, the New York Knicks, are fatigued even though they may not be showing it, yet. 

With a Pacers win in Game 4 and/or Game 5, it will automatically force Game 6. If necessary, that game will be played at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse where the Pacers have played a much stronger brand of basketball.

In terms of strategy, head coach Rick Carlisle would be smart to have his Pacers keep the game physical, fast-paced, and with as few breaks in the game as possible. Given the Knicks essentially are playing with a seven-man rotation, exhaustion can kick in.

Thibodeau has been known to exert too many minutes from his starters. He did so with Jimmy Butler on both the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Indiana is two players deep in almost all five positions on the court. If he continues to do so between Hart, DiVincenzo, and Brunson, the Knicks may not have enough gas to close out and win this semifinal series against the Pacers.


First, the Indiana Pacers must win Game 4 today in Indy. If they don't, the series is likely over. It's a big-time game. How they compensate for Tyrese Haliburton not being 100% could determine if they win or not.