Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden

Game Preview: IND vs NYK

Scott Agness | April 12, 2013 | Updated: April 13 at 6:29 PM

Matchup

Indiana and New York are set to do battle in an afternoon contest, just like the first time the Pacers played in Madison Square Garden in mid-November. These two teams were battling it out for the second seed in the Eastern Conference, but both teams have recently went in different directions.

The Knicks won 13-straight games before seeing that streak end Thursday night in Chicago. They were playing some of the basketball in the league, led by Carmelo Anthony, who’s had an incredible last few weeks. Over the last ten games, he’s averaging 34.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor. As a result, Anthony has taken over the top spot on the NBA’s scoring list this season. Averaging 28.7 points per game, he is just above Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. Anthony is also the top-scorer in the first quarter of games (9.0).

As one of the league’s oldest teams, the Knicks have a laundry list of injuries (see below). One guy that has taken his game to a new level this season is J.R. Smith, one of the front-runners for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. Since late March, he’s had five 30-plus point performances, which helped New York put together a double digit streak of wins.

He’s not the only dangerous player off the bench. As a unit, the Knicks’ bench contributes the third-most points (41 per game) of any NBA team.

This game pits two division winners (and a potential second round matchup) on the big stage mid-day Sunday. New York won the Atlantic Division for the sixth time in franchise history but just the first time since 1994.

In their second-to-last regular season road game, the Pacers are in desperate need to get back on track. That starts from the tip and on defense. They’ve given up an average of 103 points per game in the last four games, including a season-high 117 to Brooklyn on Friday. Those same four teams have all shot 46 percent or better against the Pacers, who take a great deal of pride on their defense. The Pacers need to play with a hit first mentality.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Pablo Prigioni

Pablo Prigioni

Raymond Felton

Raymond Felton

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Chris Copeland

Chris Copeland

Injury Update

Pacers: George Hill (day-to-day, strained groin), Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee surgery)
Knicks: Marcus Camby (questionable, left plantar fasciitis), Tyson Chandler (questionable, bulging disc), Kenyon Martin (questionable, sprained left ankle), Amar'e Stoudemire (out, right knee debridement), Rasheed Wallace (out, fractured left fifth metatarsal)

Quotable

“The scoring punch that they have, with J.R. Smith and Carmelo (Anthony), plus (how Tyson) Chandler rolls to the basket and the way they spread you out from the 3-point line. They’re as tough as any team in the NBA to guard.” – Frank Vogel, one month ago, on what’s most concerning with the Knicks

“This last week has been eye-opening for us, in terms of knowing where we are. We’re going to have to play some of our best basketball this next week just to give ourselves something to feel good about heading into a tough first round matchup.” – David West

“We’re not showing the ability to play complete games. At this time of year, we should be gearing up, focusing on tweaks that we’re going to make as the year comes to a close. We just haven’t been able to rely on our defense as we were able to in the early goings of the season.” – David West

“We have to turn around our approach in starting games off. We have to make teams uncomfortable. That’s our style of basketball and we’re not doing it.” – Paul George

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won the last two meetings, both at home.
  • Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler were teammates during February’s NBA All-Star game in Houston.
  • Carmelo Anthony was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played in the first week of April. J.R. Smith won it the previous week.
  • Pacers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh was the Knicks’ President from 2008-2011.
  • Mike Woodson, one of the four current NBA head coaches that attended Indiana University, was born in Indianapolis and attended Broad Ripple High School.
  • Knicks assistant coach Herb Williams played for the Pacers from 1981-89.
  • The Knicks signed former Pacer Solomon Jones on Friday.

Last Meeting

Feb. 20 – The Pacers whipped the Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 125-91. It was a complete spanking as Indiana, which ripped off 44 points in the second quarter, led by 39 at one point. The Knicks lost their temper and were given three technical fouls, and a flagrant-1 foul; J.R. Smith was ejected. Most of the Indiana starters were able to stay seated on the bench, allowing the young guys to play at least five minutes. Ben Hansbrough was the only player that failed to score.

Paul George scored a game-high 27 points while holding Carmelo Anthony to 15 points on 7-of-21 shooting (1-of-6 from deep). David West had 18 points and nine rebounds and Tyler Hanbrough scored 10 points off the bench. Tyson Chandler paced the Knicks with 19.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)

Next Home Game

Tickets are available for the Pacers' final home game of the regular season on April 17 against the Philadelphia 76ers at 8:00 PM. The game marks Fan Appreciation Night as well. Find Tickets »

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