The Eastern Conference semifinal series between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers moves to the Hoosier State Saturday with the series tied one game apiece. The NBA odds have the Pacers listed as a 4-point home favorite with the over/under set at 184.
After being upset in Game One of the series, the Knicks responded in a big way Tuesday by blowing out the Pacers, 105-79, as a 5.5-point favorite. Carmelo Anthony, the NBA’s leading scorer in the regular season, exploded for a game-high 32 points while adding nine rebounds to pace the Knicks. The Pacers were led by Paul George’s 20 points, but a rash of second-half turnovers that led to a 36-4 Knicks’ run ultimately proved fatal for the Pacers.
There have been a couple of newsworthy events out of Knicks camp since the Game Two victory. Forward Amare Stoudemire, who has missed more than two months with a knee injury, will be in uniform and is scheduled to play between 10 to 15 minutes, head coach Mike Woodson said. Additionally, Woodson also let it be known in the aftermath of Game Two that the Knicks second-leading scorer—J.R. Smith—could see his playing time reduced if does not remedy his current shooting slump (just 15-for-57 from the field in his last four games).
As for Indiana, the return home could be just what the doctored order. The Pacers have gone an excellent 33-11at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Head coach Frank Vogel has been urging his team to be more physical with the Knicks, a style of play the Pacers had success with in the regular season.
This series has the looks of being a long, drawn-out affair as not much seems to separate these two teams. With that said, Game Three is a “swing” game in any seven-game series and whoever comes out on top in this one will be squarely in the driver’s seat.