5 Things To Know: The Knicks Return Home for First Matchup Against Pacers
7:30 PM EST | Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG Network
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7 FM
5 Things To Know:
UPDATE: Derrick Rose will play tonight and start against the Pacers.
1. Despite 29 points against his former team, Carmelo Anthony could not lift the Knicks to a win in their final contest of the five-game road trip. On Saturday night in Denver, New York fell 127-114 and dropped to 14-13 overall, seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. New York returns to the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden for a three-game homestand starting tonight against the Pacers in the first matchup of the season. The Knicks hope to reverse the losing skid with some home cooking as the team holds a 9-4 mark at the Mecca.
2. Derrick Rose will make his return tonight. Last week, Rose was forced to leave the game in Phoenix due to back spasms and did not return after logging 10 minutes of court time. At Monday’s practice session, Rose expressed his desire to play in the home contest, “Yeah, that’s the plan. I just want to put all these injuries behind me.”
3. Paul George and the Pacers returned to the postseason last season by securing the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference in a 45-win campaign. Indiana pushed the Raptors to seven games but could not overcome the team (Raptors) that eventually reached the Conference Finals. Despite the recent success from the Pacers franchise, president Larry Bird felt a change was necessary and elected to fire Frank Vogel and promote assistant Nate McMillan to head coach. Bird also shook up the roster by trading for point guard Jeff Teague in a three-team deal that sent George Hill to the Jazz. Indiana acquired Thaddeus Young via a trade package that involved Caris LeVert and Al Jefferson and Aaron Brooks inked deals as free agents.
4. The Pacers have won two straight games against Eastern Conference opponents to improve to 15-14 overall this season. Currently, Indiana sits in the eighth spot in the latest standings with three of its next four games on the road. The Pacers are a middle of the pack team in terms of offensive and defensive ratings. However, Indiana is a top ten team in three-point shooting percentage and top five in steals and blocks.
5. Last night, Indiana survived in the final seconds as Thaddeus Young drove to his left and connected on a game-winning runner with 0.9 seconds remaining on the game clock. The Pacers plan was to get their All-Star George the rock but he was denied an open passing lane, which created an opportunity for Young to utilize his strong hand for the final shot. George finished with 27 points and nine boards in the road victory. Teague registered a double-double with 23 points and 10 assists and the second-year standout Myles Turner posted 20 points and eight rebounds. Monta Ellis did not suit up for the game and has been ruled for the Tuesday night matchup against the Knicks. Rodney Stuckey was also sidelined last night due to a hamstring injury.