Saturday, May 18th, 2013 at 8:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs NYK, Game 6
Scott Agness | May 17, 2013
Beginning with Saturday’s game, the Pacers have two more opportunities to close out the New York Knicks and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004. While this series is fought over, the Miami Heat are resting at home—guaranteed a week between games.
Related: Friday Night Notebook »
The Pacers were unsuccessful in their bid to take the best-of-seven series in five games on Thursday night, falling 85-75. Ultimately, 19 turnovers and 14 missed free throws did them in, yet they were right there. The Knicks led from start to finish. but the Pacers got to within four points with over six minutes to play and had numerous chances to pick at the lead.
“We just did not come to play,” said Pacers center Roy Hibbert. “There's no excuses. We didn't deserve to win.”
The biggest question mark entering Game 6 is the status of point guard George Hill. He sustained a concussion after a blow from Tyson Chandler early in Game 4. Hill remained in the game and finished with a team-high 26 points, but he was diagnosed with a concussion hours before Game 5 tipped off and was forced to sit out.
Concussions are unpredictable so he could miss just that one game, or be out for a week or longer. Before returning to the floor, he must pass a series of tests – both online and exertion tests – and then consult with a neurologist hired by the league before being cleared. According to the new policy enacted in 2011, “the process will likely take at least several days, if not weeks.”
Related: Hill Remains Day-to-Day »
Should Hill not be able to go again, D.J. Augustin, who’s been strong this postseason off the bench, will start and other bench players like Sam Young and Gerald Green will see an increased workload. That scenario also means Lance Stephenson and Paul George will take turns bringing up the ball.
Being back in their city on their floor bodes well for the Pacers, as they are 5-0 at home this postseason. But that fact alone won’t guarantee victory in Game 6. They must be focused and sharp. The urgency also has to be there because they certainly don’t want to go back to New York, where they are 1-4 this season, for a decisive Game 7.
The Pacers won three games in the series by hitting first, owning the paint, and outworking the Knicks. Head coach Frank Vogel is encouraged that his team attacked and attempted 33 foul shots in Game 5. The problem was that they only made 19 of those tries.
Five games into a series, adjustments are limited. The Pacers will likely focus on cleaning up their passes and decision-making, as well as their execution. They can’t approach the game feeling like they have room to breathe. Back in the Fieldhouse and in front of the home crowd, the Pacers want to pounce from the beginning and wrap up this series.
Pacers: George Hill (day-to-day, concussion), Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
“We just have to play more solid. There’s no other way to put it. You have to play disciplined offensive basketball. Take the extra pass, but you have to deliver the ball on time and on target. You can’t be sloppy with your turnovers especially against this team.” – Frank Vogel
“They (the Knicks) are going to come out and fight and try to steal one on our home floor. We’ve done a good job protecting our home court, so we just need to do that.” – David West
“We have to figure it out real soon. I know that. I wish I could put my finger on it. [Friday] we are going to huddle together, pump each other up and get ready for Saturday night.” – Knicks coach Mike Woodson on his team’s lack of success in Indy
- The Pacers are 4-0 vs. the Knicks this season at the Fieldhouse.
- In the first round, the Pacers closed out Atlanta in six games.
- No matter, who advances, the Eastern Conference Finals will begin next Wednesday in Miami.
- All fans in attendance at Game 6 will receive a gold t-shirt.
May 16: The Knicks bolted out to an 11-4 lead and never trailed in their 85-75 win in New York on Thursday night. Roy Hibbert picked up two fouls in the first quarter and battled foul trouble all game, as did Paul George. Hill’s absence required D.J. Augustin, who had 12 points but no assists, to play 39 minutes – about 23 more than usual. After the Pacers cut New York’s lead to four late in the final period, the Knicks closed the game on a 10-4 run.
Carmelo Anthony scored his usual 28 points (on 28 shots) and both J.R. Smith and rookie Chris Copeland made a big impact off the bench, each adding 13 points. George led the Pacers with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists. David West notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Pacers scored 24 second chance points and edged the Knicks in the rebounding battle (43-40). Turnovers were the big story, as the Pacers handed it over 19 times.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings
TV: ESPN – Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Jon Barry (analyst), Heather Cox (reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/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./>/>
Good seats remain for Game 6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »