On to the second round of the NBA Playoffs and we will see the Indiana Pacers take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on TNT. Currently the Odds for the game have New York favored by 6 points while the total sits at 183.
Analysis:The Pacers are now 1 up in the series and have covered in three straight. Since 1996, Indiana is 26-10 ATS after two straight games of out-rebounding an opponent by 10 or more. The Indiana Pacers came out in Game 1 and dictated play with their ferocious interior defense. Roy Hibbert was the head of that defense, blocking five shots in the game. Hibbert also finished the game with 14 points (6-of-9 FG), eight rebounds and four assists. Lance Stephenson was the most noticeable rebounder on the court for the Pacers, grabbing 13 boards in the game to go along with 11 points (5-of-9 FG). David West was the best offensive player for the Pacers, scoring 20 points (8-of-15 FG) while also blocking two shots. The biggest impact in the game offensively for Indiana may have come from D.J. Augustin off the bench. In just 13 minutes of play, Augustin had 16 points (5-of-6 FG, 4-of-5 3PT). Paul George struggled shooting the ball (5-of-14 FG), but he did score 19 points (5-of-14 FG) and grab five rebounds. George was getting to the free throw line where he connected on 7-of-8.
The New York Knicks had a hard time dealing with the physical play of the Indiana Pacers in Game 1. If the Knicks hope to avoid dropping two straight at home to begin the series, they will need to figure out a way to counter that rugged presence. The New York Knicks got off to a hot start in Game 1, but after the first quarter it was all Pacers in Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony really struggled from the field in the game, scoring an inefficient 27 points (10-of-28 FG) while also committing some costly turnovers. J.R. Smith struggled yet again for New York, finishing the game with 17 points (4-of-15 FG) and five rebounds in a game where he couldn’t get any of his jump shots to fall. Raymond Felton continued to be the Knicks best player in the postseason, finishing with 18 points (8-of-12 FG) and three assists in 38 minutes. The Knicks will need Carmelo Anthony to stay out of foul trouble in Game 2, which is now a must win for New York after dropping Game 1. The Knicks are 0-5 all-time when losing Game 1 of a series at home. The last time they lost a Game 1 at home was to the Pacers in the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Pick: I like the Under in this game. The Knicks put up 95 points in game one, but that has been the only time they scored more than 90 points in this post season. The Pacers enter this game 2nd ins coring defense (90.7 ppg), 1st in defensive FG% (42%) and 1st in 3pt defense (32.7%), and on the road this year they have allowed just 91.3 ppg. The Pacers have allowed just 90.1 ppg in their last 7 games, while the Knick offense has struggled to score, putting up just 88.4 ppg in their last 10. The Pacers rugged defense should be able to hold the Knicks to Under 90 points in this one. Defensively the Knicks were stellar vs Boston, allowing just 82.3 ppg in the series and while they did allow 102 points in game 1, they are facing an Indiana squad that has averaged 91.2 ppg on the road, including 85.5 ppg in their last 4 away from home. Bothh teams play at a slow pace and that also mean less possessions for both. Both defenses are playing right now and in a slow paced game that should keep this one in the low 170's at best.
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