Pre-Game News and Notes
Knicks vs. Pacers
The Knicks went into the All-Star break on a sour note losing three of their last four games. They will look to turn things around starting in Indiana Wednesday night. This will be the third time this season the Knicks and Pacers face off, with each team getting a win on their home court thus far.
-Get back to moving the ball
The Knicks have been struggling on the offensive end of the court recently, unable to get into any type of flow on offense and being stagnant. Too often they rely on the heroics of Carmelo Anthony to bail them out as they just stand around and watch him do his thing.
With the offense that the Knicks play the low assist numbers are understandable at times as Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are put into isolation situations. Currently the Knicks rank second to last in assists per game.
It is not the amount that is nerve racking, but when they come. The Knicks are most successful when they are knocking down three pointers, which would be much easier to come by if they are moving the ball and passing.
Tonight, the Knicks will face off against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and ball movement will be paramount. Without Anthony in the last meeting, the Knicks struggled mightily to put the ball in the basket, but he cannot do it by himself he will need help from some teammates.
-Tighten up the defense
The Knicks defense has been lax recently and this is something they need to turn around. Getting things going on the defensive end will make it easier for the Knicks on offense.
Tonight they face a team that is hitting their stride on the offensive end, as the Pacers are averaging 100.7 points per game in their last 10 contests. The Knicks struggle at times stopping opposing guards and it will not be any easier tonight as the Pacers employ All-Star Paul George on the wing with dynamic point guard George Hill and Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson.
-Intensity and atmosphere
The Knicks currently hold a 1 ½ game lead in the Eastern Conference standings over the Pacers for second place, making tonight an important game for seeding come playoff time. The crowd in Indiana will surely be ready to cheer on their team, so the Knicks need to come out with some intensity and energy to match what the Pacers will bring to the table.
In the standings the Knicks need to achieve two things; home court and avoiding the Heat for as long as possible. That means the Knicks can fall no further than third in the Eastern Conference, making games against teams like the Pacers extremely important down the stretch run.