Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers vs. New York


By Conrad Brunner,

SCOUTING THE PACERS: With an offense that has erupted for 250 points in the last two wins, the Pacers (37-43) are trying to peak heading into their first-round playoff matchup with the Chicago Bulls next weekend. Darren Collison has been directing the offense with remarkable efficiency, racking up consecutive double-doubles. Collison has shot a remarkable 71 percent (41 of 58) from the field in the last six games. Considering he has missed all six of his 3-point attempts, Collison has made 79 percent of his shots in side the arc. Danny Granger also has been coming on strong, totaling 53 points on 55 percent shooting in the last two games, getting to the free throw line for 20 attempts. Roy Hibbert has averaged 15.5 points on 56 percent shooting in the last six but has gone three straight games without blocking a shot.

SCOUTING THE KNICKS: This is not the same disheveled team the Pacers swept in consecutive meetings in mid-March, during a stretch in which the Knicks lost nine of 10. With Carmelo Anthony finding his stride, the Knicks (41-38) have won six in a row, averaging 116.7 points. That includes a 116-93 rout of the Nets Friday night that Amar'e Stoudemire sat out with a sprained left ankle. Anthony has been on a tear, averaging 30.3 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field and 49 percent from the 3-point line in the winning streak. Stoudemire is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game. The Knicks are one-half game ahead of seventh-place Philadelphia (41-39) in the battle for sixth in the East.

KEY MATCHUP: Granger has been much more aggressive both in attacking the basket and scoring from the low post in the past few games and the matchup with the red-hot Anthony will be an excellent test of his progress in those areas heading into the postseason.

QUOTE MARKS: "We are just trying to build momentum going into the playoffs. We’re looking to be very offensive, move the ball, hit the open people and put points on the board. We are shooting well, passing the ball well, which results in wins. We are gaining our confidence more and more every game. And this is the mind set that we need to be in going to the playoffs." -- Granger

INJURY REPORT: The Pacers are healthy. For the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire (sprained left ankle) is doubtful and Andy Rautins (left knee) is out.

TICKETS: Fan Appreciation Night | Boomer Sunday Fun

BROADCAST INFO: The game will be telecast at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Indiana with Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner calling the game and Stacy Paetz on the sideline, with a pre-game show starting at 7. The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Bobby "Slick" Leonard with Matt Taylor reporting.

INTERACT: You can chat live with fans around the country in our live game blog which begins at tipoff.


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