Game 4 of this Eastern Conference semi-final game between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers takes place tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana. The game is scheduled for a 7:0o pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on TNT. Currently the Odds for the game have Indiana favored by 5.5 points while the total sits at 179.5.
Analysis: The Knicks played one of their worst offensive games of the season in Game 3, scoring 20 points or less in each quarter, making just 3-of-11 threes (27%), and producing more turnovers (14) than assists (11). SF Carmelo Anthony led the team in scoring with 21 points (6-of-16 FG, 8-of-11 FT), but committed four turnovers, five fouls and had a minus-16 rating. SG J.R. Smith again had a miserable shooting performance as he played 25 minutes and scored just nine points on 4-of-12 FG (0-of-3 threes). For the series, Smith has 11.3 PPG on 26% FG (3-of-16 threes), a far cry from what he did in the first round against Boston (15.2 PPG on 38% FG). PF Amar’e Stoudemire returned for New York in Game 4 and he played rather well in his limited time in the game. In just nine minutes, he scored seven points (3-of-8 FG, 1-of-1 threes) while also grabbing two rebounds. Tyson Chandler, who has had trouble guarding Indiana’s Roy Hibbert while also offering little on the offensive end in the series, was seemingly critical of Knicks shooters Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith. “I watched the tape myself and there’s open looks,” Chandler told reporters. “We have to be willing passers. You have to sacrifice yourself sometimes for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of your teammates. G Iman Shumpert (left knee) missed practice on Monday but is expected to play on Tuesday.
Indiana got back to its defensive identity in Game 3, holding the Knicks to just 71 points on 35% FG in an 82-71 victory to give the club a 2-1 series advantage. So far in the series, the Pacers have done an excellent job on the league's scoring champion, Carmelo Anthony, contesting all of his shots and holding him to just 41% FG in the series. Indiana is now 4-1 (SU and ATS) in the month of May and is 5-2 SU (4-3 ATS) when hosting New York in the past three seasons. Indiana came out aggressively in Game 3 and quickly erased the sting of Game 2’s collapse. The Pacers’ commitment to the defensive end helped hold the Knicks to 35.2 percent from the field and limited them to 11 3-point attempts. Paul George (2-for-12) had more 3-point attempts all by himself and made up for a tough shooting day with some tight defense on Anthony and Smith. “That’s how we play Pacers basketball,” George said. “We just locked in, and it was just helping one another on the defensive end.” Indiana held a 53-40 rebounding edge in Game 3 as both Hibbert and West pulled down 12 boards.
Pick: I feel the games in Indiana will be very low scoring, Game 3 put up 153 points and this one should get no more than 169 points. Pacers have allowed 89.5 ppg at home on the year and just 85.5 ppg at home in playoffs. They got back to winning in game 3 cause they slowed the tempo and defended the 3 point arc very well. two things they have done well all year and it should continue here vs a Knick squad that has yet to top 90 points on the road in the playoffs. A slow grind it out game should equal at most 165 points.
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