Connect with us

Basketball

Game Preview: Pacers at Knicks (Game 7)

Published

on

Sunday, May 19 at 3:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden

Game Preview

It all comes down to this. The 2024 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Pacers and Knicks has gone the distance and will come down to a decisive Game 7 on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

The winner will advance to face the top-seeded Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, which begin on Tuesday in Boston. The loser’s season will be over.

The Pacers forced a Game 7 thanks to a 116-103 win on Friday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse where they played at a fever pitch from start to finish. After head coach Rick Carlisle called out his team’s effort in a 30-point drubbing in Game 5 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, the Blue & Gold responded by outhustling the Knicks on Friday.

Indiana outscored New York 62-38 in points in the paint and outrebounded the Knicks 47-35, a drastic turnaround from Game 5, when the Knicks outscored Indiana by 26 points in the paint and outrebounded the Pacers by 24.

While the Knicks’ move to a smaller starting lineup — inserting 6-1 guard Miles McBride into the first unit in place of 6-8 forward Precious Achiuwa — was highly effective in Game 5, the Pacers found ways to counteract it on Friday, by attacking the rim and working the ball into 6-8 forward Pascal Siakam in the post, where he was being guarded by a player 6-4 or shorter.

Siakam had 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists to lead six Pacers in double figures.

The home team has won all six games so far in this series, but the Pacers only need to buck that trend once to advance. Still, it will be a tall task in the rowdy environment of Madison Square Garden, especially for a young Pacers team with limited playoff experience.

Of the players on the roster, only Siakam and veteran center Myles Turner have received significant minutes in a Game 7 before. For All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton (as well as other rotational players Andrew Nembhard, Ben Sheppard, and Isaiah Jackson), this is his first playoffs.

“It’s the ultimate game,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is a great opportunity…This team’s been through a lot of new experiences over the last three-and-a-half weeks and this will be another new one. We’ll do everything possible to get them ready, but in Game 7s it comes down to compete level and how well you’re tied together.”

One storyline to watch heading into Sunday is the health of Knicks forward Josh Hart, who was treated for abdominal soreness during Game 6 and ultimately removed from the game early in the fourth quarter.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G – Tyrese Haliburton, G – Andrew Nembhard, F – Aaron Nesmith, F – Pascal Siakam, C – Myles Turner

Knicks: G – Jalen Brunson, G – Miles McBride, F – Donte DiVincenzo, F – Josh Hart, C – Isaiah Hartenstein

Injury Report

Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin – out (right shoulder labral tear)

Knicks: Josh Hart – TBA (abdominal soreness), OG Anunoby – out (left hamstring strain), Bojan Bogdanovic – out (left foot surgery), Julius Randle – out (right shoulder surgery), Mitchell Robinson – out (left ankle stress injury)

Last Meeting

May 17, 2024: The Pacers used a 17-2 run in the second quarter to open a lead they never relinquished the rest of the way in a 116-103 victory over the Knicks on Friday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Pascal Siakam led Indiana with 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. With the Knicks utilizing a small-ball starting lineup that essentially features four guards, the Blue & Gold worked the offense through their 6-8 swingman.

Five other Pacers finished in double figures, including Myles Turner (17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds, and two blocks), Tyrese Haliburton (15 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and two blocks), and Andrew Nembhard (15 points, six boards, and six assists).

Jalen Brunson scored 26 of his game-high 31 points after halftime to lead New York in the loss. Miles McBride added 20 points, going 8-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range, while Donte DiVincenzo scored 17.

Noteworthy

  • This will be the third time the Pacers and Knicks have met in a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks prevailed in Game 7 in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, but the Pacers got their revenge a year later in Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • Indiana is 3-6 all-time when playing a Game 7, with all but one (2014 against Atlanta) of those games taking place on the road. The Pacers’ last Game 7 was in the first round in 2018 against Cleveland.
  • New York has an all-time record of 7-8 when playing a Game 7. The Knicks have not played a Game 7 since the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals against Miami and haven’t hosted a Game 7 since 1995 against the Pacers.

Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: ABC – Mike Breen (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst), JJ Redick (analyst), Cassidy Hubbarth (sideline reporter)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)

Tickets

To register for presale access for future playoff rounds or to guarantee playoff seats by placing a deposit on a 2024-25 season ticket package, please vist Pacers.com/Playoffs

Continue Reading