The Indiana Pacers need Pascal Siakam more than ever

The Indiana Pacers need their best player to play like their best player against the Knicks.
May 2, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) shoots the ball
May 2, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) shoots the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are taking on the New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. They do so after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. It was a great series for most of the Pacers players, especially Pascal Siakam in Game 1 and Game 2.

Siakam had 36 and 37 points in those first two games. He destroyed the Bucks in the midrange and at the rim. That's what he does best on the offensive end of the floor. When the offense got stagnant, the Pacers could just throw him the ball and let him go to work.

On defense, Siakam's length caused issues for Bobby Portis. While Portis did have a couple of big games, Siakam didn't let him get going for all of the games. He's going to have the same job against New York and he might have to switch onto several different positions.

The Pacers need Pascal Siakam to be great against the Knicks

If the Pacers are going to beat the Knicks and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, they need the Siakam that they got in Games 1 and 2. He was a force to be reckoned with. New York doesn't really have an answer for guarding two big guys. Myles Turner should also have a big series.

Siakam's ability to play small-ball five is also going to be big in this series. He was very effective with that and that allowed Obi Toppin to have a big Game 6 in the first round. Toppin is playing against his old team, so you know he's going to want to play well. Flexing Siakam to five allows Toppin's offense to be more effective.

A versatile forward could become available for the Pacers. dark. Next. Next story

The Pacers are a really solid team. They can definitely beat this Knicks team. They still need to play their best basketball though. They can't have a game like Game 1 or Game 5 where they get blown out. Indiana needs to be competitive in every game, even the ones they lose.