Game 5 of this Eastern Conference semifinal game between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks takes place tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on TNT. Currently the Odds for the game have New York favored by 4.5 points while the total sits at 179.
Analysis: Indiana took New York out of Game 4 from the opening tip, leading by 14 points at halftime and winning the game handily, 93-82, to go up 3-1 in this Eastern Conference semifinal series. Paul George has not been shooting well in the series but has been able to make an impact in several other places. The All-Star forward has played tight defense on Anthony and has been a force on the glass along with the rest of the Indiana frontcourt. Guard George Hill shouldered more of the scoring load in Game 4, including 14 of the Pacers’ 19 points in the third quarter that kept the team in control. “(Hill) was spectacular, maybe the best game I’ve ever seen him play,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “He was just making all the winning plays. He not only executed our offense, he bailed us out a few times when things broke down late in the shot clock.” Hill finished with a Game 4-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
In the Knicks' two straight losses, they have averaged a horrific 76.5 PPG on 35% FG and 28% threes (11-of-40). J.R. Smith’s poor shooting was the story again in Game 4, as the league's Sixth Man of the Year made just 7-of-22 FG, which actually increased his shooting clip to 28% FG (18-of-64) for the series. Smith averaged 18.1 PPG on 36% threes during the regular season, but during the East semifinals, he's averaging just 13.3 PPG on 23% threes (6-for-26). The Knicks ranked second in the East in scoring during the regular season with 100.0 PPG on 45% FG and 38% threes, but they have been ice-cold in this series, scoring just 88.3 PPG on 41% FG and 32% threes. SF Carmelo Anthony started off Game 4 hot with 24 points in the first three quarters, but he didn’t score a single point in the fourth. PG Raymond Felton has averaged just 10.0 PPG on 8-of-24 FG (0-for-2 threes) in the past two losses, but he did shoot well in the two games in this series at Madison Square Garden with 16.0 PPG on 62% FG, including 3-of-3 from long range.
The Pacers are now 7-3 (SU and ATS) in the playoffs, but are just 21-24 SU (22-23 ATS) on the road this season. New York is a strong 34-12 SU and 27-19 ATS (59%) at home, and is a solid 20-12 SU and 18-13-1 ATS (58%) following a SU loss this season.
Pick: I like the Over in this one. Before game 4 the Knicks stated that they must make this an uptempo game in order to beat the Pacers. Well they weren't able to do that in Indiana, but now with their backs against the wall and at home I feel they will able to do just that. They have to o they will be out of the playoffs. Both New York and Atlanta has had problems scoring in Indiana, but on the road in the playoffs the Pacers have allowed 93 ppg and the Knicks have scored 101.5 ppg at home this year. The Knicks do allow just 93 ppg at home and the Pacers have put up just 91 ppg on the road, but still his should be more of an uptempo game, giving them more scoring chances. New York home games have averaged 194.5 ppg, while Indiana road games have put up 182.7 ppg and in a despeation game for the Knicks I expect this one to fall in between those two averages.
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