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Knicks vs. Pacers: ‘Epic fart’ reportedly helped loosen New York before Game 5 | Sporting News

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The New York Knicks found a way to relieve some stress before Game 5 vs. the Indiana Pacers. One could say they cut the tension.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Knicks’ locker room was a loose, jovial atmosphere before a critical Game 5 vs. the Pacers.

Speaking on the “Knicks Film School” podcast, Katz, who covers the Knicks for The Athletic, said that was in part due to an “epic fart.”

“I’m not going to embarrass the guy, but there was an epic fart that loosened up the locker room a lot before the game,” Katz said. “And I’m not going to say who it was.”

Katz said the upbeat energy in the Knicks’ locker room before the game made him believe New York would come out looking much more focused than they did in a Game 4 blowout loss to the Pacers.

Katz said beyond the “epic fart,” players were laughing at a picture of a young Tom Thibodeau shirtless on the beach that was featured in an ESPN story that day.

The pregame vibes carried over on the court. The Knicks came out and immediately out-worked the Pacers, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds for 13 second-chance points in the first half alone to build a 15-point halftime lead. The team never looked back from there and went on to win by 30.

Many fans and analysts thought Game 5 was a must-win for the Knicks, as they were coming off two dispiriting losses in Indiana. Amid a slew of injuries
to key rotation players, the NBA world wondered if the Knicks had enough energy (and bodies) to survive the series.

On the podcast, Katz said the Knicks have a unique resolve that allows them to move on from games and focus on the task at hand.

“This team doesn’t get in its own head, it doesn’t press, it really does take putting things behind them, not as a cliché, but as a way of truly operating,” Katz said. “I think that is something that is extremely important to the identity of … the people on the team. That’s just how those people are from a personality standpoint.

“Like, let’s not talk about them as players; let’s talk about them as people. That’s how Isaiah Hartenstein is as a person, that’s his personality. That’s Jalen Brunson’s personality, that’s Donte DiVincenzo’s personality, and so on and so forth. Josh Hart just lets everything slide off. You can say whatever you want to Josh Hart and he’s going to be like, ‘Yup, we’re moving on.’

“And I think that’s just kind of who they are. And it really confirmed it to me going into the locker room, especially in Game 5. I was like, ‘They are not tense, I’ll tell you this much.'”

The Knicks will have the opportunity to close out the series on Friday in Game 6 in Indiana and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. There are plenty of strategic adjustments they can make to finish the series, but a little bit of pregame gas might help, too.

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