Pacers at Knicks

Sabonis on All-Star Experience, Matchup with Knicks

Feb. 20, 2020 - Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis discusses playing in his first All-Star Game last weekend in Chicago, then looks ahead to Friday's game in New York against the Knicks.

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Sabonis on All-Star Experience, Matchup with Knicks

Feb. 20, 2020 - Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis discusses playing in his first All-Star Game last weekend in Chicago, then looks ahead to Friday's game in New York against the Knicks.
Feb 20, 2020  |  02:19

No More Minutes Restriction for Oladipo as Pacers Begin Playoff Push

Feb. 19, 2020 - Pacers coach Nate McMillan and guard Victor Oladipo discuss Oladipo's minutes restriction being lifted and Indiana's goals for the remaining 27 games in the regular season.
Feb 19, 2020  |  02:40

Game Preview: Pacers at Knicks

Friday, February 21, 2020 at 7:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After the All-Star break, the hopefully refreshed and reenergized Pacers (32-23) return to action on Friday night, when they tip off a two-game road trip in New York against the Knicks (17-38).

Indiana sputtered somewhat ahead of All-Star Weekend, dropping six straight games before a bounce-back win over the Giannis Antekounmpo-less Bucks last Wednesday in their final game before the break.

But the Blue & Gold enter the final 27 games of the regular optimistic. Despite residing in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, they are a virtual lock to return to the postseason and remain hopeful that they can climb up into the top four seeds and earn homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs (they are currently three games back of fourth-place Miami).

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Latest Standings, Magic Numbers, and More »

The Pacers received good news over the break, as doctors said the team can remove the minutes restriction on two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said the team will still be "smart" about not pushing Oladipo too much as he continues to work his way back into form after a year-long absence with a ruptured quad tendon (he still will not play both nights of a back-to-back), but having their most decorated player on the court for longer stretches should benefit the Pacers over the final two months of the regular season.

The Knicks are mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but they have played better in recent weeks. They started Indiana's six-game skid on Feb. 1 when they came into Bankers Life Fieldhouse and walked out with a 92-85 win. That also began a four-game win streak for New York before they dropped their last two contests before the break.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Knicks: PG - Elfrid Payton, SG - RJ Barrett, SF - Reggie Bullock, PF - Julius Randle, C - Taj Gibson

Injury Report

Pacers: Edmond Sumner - questionable (sore left hip), T.J. Warren - questionable (sore lower back)

Knicks: Wayne Ellington - questionable (right ankle strain), Elfrid Payton - questionable (sore right ankle)

Last Meeting

February 1, 2020: The Knicks outrebounded the Pacers 57-34 overall and 14-4 on the offensive glass on their way to a 92-85 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Domantas Sabonis led Indiana with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon tallied seven rebounds and 12 assists, but struggled from the field, going 4-for-13. Victor Oladipo endured similar struggles in his second game back from a year-long absence, scoring seven points on 2-for-14 shooting off the bench.

"When you can't hit shots, you can't play as good of defense," Oladipo said. "How many points did we give up? 92? Most games, you win but unfortunately, we couldn't make a shot. It was just one of those games."

Knicks forward Marcus Morris led all scorers with 28 points. Julius Randle added 16 points and 18 rebounds for New York.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won their last three games at Madison Square Garden.
  • With a win on Friday, Indiana would win the season series with the Knicks for the third straight season and the sixth time in the last seven years.
  • Pacers forward Doug McDermott spent 55 games with the Knicks during the 2017-18 season before being traded to Dallas at the trade deadline.

Tickets

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Cody Zeller and the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Ticketmaster - 2019-20 Pacers tickets

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)





by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

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