Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden

Game Preview: IND at NYK, Game 2

Scott Agness | May 6, 2013

Matchup

The Pacers have the New York Knicks where they want them. Riding off confidence from their Game 6 win in Atlanta, the Pacers went into Madison Square Garden and outplayed the Knicks for a Game 1 win in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In doing so, they have taken home court advantage away from the Knicks.

The win had New York folks in a panic, which is no surprise. That’s how the market is. The usually bold New York Post used the headline "Stinko De Melo," while the similarly provocative New York Daily News opted for "BIG Trouble.” Even Knicks guard J.R. Smith heard the noise, and postgame tweeted a picture of the official NBA bandwagon transferal form, as a joke, of course.

Related: What They're Saying »

As the Pacers were effective as a collective unit, the Knicks – the oldest team not only this season, but in NBA history – leaned heavily on Carmelo Anthony, who struggled against Paul George. If not for Anthony’s 15-point outburst in the fourth quarter, the game would have likely been decided by double digits.

Pacers Playoff Rallies: Kroger in Nora »   Circle Centre Mall »

At Monday’s practice, the Knicks weren’t taking kindly to the Pacers physical play. Raymond Felton went so far as saying the Pacers were “going at (Anthony’s) shoulder” in Sunday’s postgame press conference. No, that’s the way the Pacers play – a rugged, get-after-it style that the Knicks have to brace for mentally.

Anthony, who shot 10-of-28 and dealt with foul trouble most of the game, is dealing with a left shoulder injury after feeling his left arm pop in and out late in the Knicks’ Game 6 win over the Boston Celtics. George and David West took time guarding Anthony and made him work hard for every one of those 28 shots. After the game, the NBA’s leading scorer was surprised with the hits he took but said he would be ok. (Note: Frank Vogel said his team didn’t even know exactly what his injury was.)

Indiana’s success revolved around the team getting back to their defensive principles, which allowed them to lead the league during the regular season in field goal percentage defense and rebounding. They were +14 on the glass and outscored the Knicks in the paint 46-32.

Roy Hibbert’s play was superb and made points around the hoop hard to come by. The Knicks were 15-34 (44 percent) in restricted area compared to the Pacers converting 65 percent of their shots in the same 5-foot area around the rim. His length and the way he’s mastered going straight up when opponents approach and try for contact has been impressive. Hibbert had more blocks (5) than the entire Knicks team (4).

Related: Pacers Look to Take Stranglehold on Series »

When the Pacers hit the Reebok Sports Club Monday for practice of their own, coach Vogel pointed out three areas of focus: defensive cleanup, fine-tuning the items they did well, and prepping for possible adjustments made by the Knicks. As the team expects the Knicks to work the officials early, Vogel emphasized the importance of maintaining discipline in their position and trying to earn no-calls. In Game 1, the fouls were even, with 21 apiece.

Limiting points in transition and off Indiana turnovers are two other items to watch. The Pacers did a very good job in both departments, but New York may mix something up in an effort for more points.

Related: Reggie Miller Calling Game 2 on Anniversary of Garden Moment »

With Indiana’s win in Game 1 in impressive form at the Garden, history is now on their side. In NBA history, the winner of Game 1 in the conference semifinals has gone on to win the series 80.2 (93-23) percent of the time. Also, the Knicks are 0-5 all-time when losing at home in Game 1. They are 0-3 in best-of-sevens.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Raymond Felton

Raymond Felton

Pablo Prigioni

Pablo Prigioni

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Knicks: Steve Novak (questionable, back spasms), Amare Stoudemire (out, right knee debridement)

Quotable

“We have confidence and that’s one of the most important things to win a playoff series … we have the mindset that Game 2 is a must-win and we have to go after it.” – Frank Vogel

“The next time we play … the series is still 0-0 in our estimation. We will try to improve on what we did [Sunday].” – David West

“Part of the plan with [the Knicks] is do not put them to the free throw line. We’ve got to have discipline to be legal with our body position and earn no-calls. That’s a major point of emphasis to our defensive attack.” – Frank Vogel

“We are a grind-it-out physical team … We try to wear people down.” – Roy Hibbert

“I believe that he is going to have an impact in this series. Obviously, he had a rough start. Lot of that’s nerves. He didn’t play the whole last series so you have to be patient with those situations.” – Frank Vogel on Sam Young

Noteworthy

  • New York is 4-0 this postseason when hitting more 3-pointers than their opponent, but 0-3 when their opponent makes more.
  • Via ESPN Stats & Info: when Lance Stephenson is on the floor, the Pacers have allowed 90.8 points per 100 possessions. When he’s on the bench, they’ve given up 112 points.
  • Indiana will wear their gold uniforms for their third straight game. They are 2-0 in the alternate uniforms this postseason.

Last Meeting

May 5: Less than 48 hours removed from wrapping up their first round series in Atlanta, the Pacers went into New York and pounded away at the Knicks. Paul George kept Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith in check, Roy Hibbert had backup at the rim, and the Pacers received solid contributions from seven guys in total. In front of a nationally televised audience on ABC, the Pacers outplayed and outworked the Knicks, according to Anthony, and took home-court advantage by winning 102-95 at Madison Square Garden.

David West scored 20 points and George had 19. Lance Stephenson recorded his first playoff double-double, 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Hibbert put together a stellar game, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, five blocks, four assists and countless altered shots in the paint. D.J. Augustin was the X-factor, scoring 16 points off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting. J.R. Smith finished with 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings

TV: TNT - Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst), Rachel Nichols (reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)
Note: The Pacers TV crew of Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, Austin Croshere and Brooke Olzendam will have a 30-minute postgame show on FOX Sports Indiana immediately following the game./>/>

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