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Knicks’ big man disappointed by putrid Game 4 performance: ‘We have to really get back to playing our basketball’

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Over their last two games, the New York Knicks have not looked like the winning team that NBA fans have grown accustomed to watching throughout the course of this season. The Eastern Conference Semifinals are tied 2-2 after the Knicks have dropped their last two games on the road to the Indiana Pacers.

Game 4, in particular, saw New York turn in an embarrassing performance. The Pacers blew the Knicks out at home, winning 121–89 to tie the series before it heads back to New York for Games 5. Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein is eager for his team to reclaim their homecourt advantage.

Isaiah Hartenstein is eager to get back to homecourt at MSG

May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) shoots the ball while New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) defends during game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) shoots the ball while New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) defends during game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Game 4 blowout, Hartenstein spoke with the media in the locker room and expressed how eager he is to get back to Madison Square Garden for the next matchup:

“Nothing is like the Garden,” Hartenstein told reporters (h/t Ian Begley of SNY). “We have to really get back to playing our basketball, coming back to playing for the fans like that. Because the way we played, especially today, was not respectful to the fans and how they support us.”

Hartenstein and company will be back at home on Tuesday night, aiming to bounce back and give the fans of New York a performance worthy of the world’s most famous arena.

The Knicks play better under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden

NBA: Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks
Feb 1, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) drives to the basket against New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) and guards Josh Hart (3) and Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Having homecourt advantage is crucial and it’s the reason New York fought so hard to secure the No. 2 seed during the regular season. Their success at Madison Square Garden this season is palpable.

During the regular season, the Knicks went 27-14 and averaged 111.2 points per game at home while surrendering 105.27 opponent points per game. On the road, however, they went 23-18, averaging 114.4 points per game and surrendering 111.15 points allowed.

Their success at the Garden has translated to the postseason, too. The Knicks are 4-1 at home in the playoffs compared to 2-3 on the road thus far. Getting back their homecourt advantage could be the key to the Knicks regaining their series lead and closing out the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Knicks’ Josh Hart suffers worst playoff performance in Game 4 vs. Pacers after historic Game 3

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