Pacers vs Knicks

Pacers Preview Matchup With Knicks

Dec. 7, 2021 - Oshae Brissett, Chris Duarte and Rick Carlisle speak with the media ahead of their game against the New York Knicks.

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Pacers Preview Matchup With Knicks

Dec. 7, 2021 - Oshae Brissett, Chris Duarte and Rick Carlisle speak with the media ahead of their game against the New York Knicks.
Dec 7, 2021  |  01:35

Game Preview: Pacers vs Knicks

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After picking up a revitalizing win, the Pacers (10-16) look to keep rolling as the New York Knicks (12-12) come to town for the second time this season. In their first trip to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the Pacers handled New York, 111-98. In total, this will be the third time these two teams will have met already this season. Their last regular-season bout will be on Jan. 4.

A promising 5-1 start to the Knicks' season has fallen by the wayside as of late as the squad has struggled to play consistent basketball. New York had lost three straight contests before Tuesday's win in San Antonio and will be playing on the second night of a road back-to-back when squaring off against the Blue & Gold.

Meanwhile, the Pacers appeared to show life on Monday after returning from their second two-day break of the season. Six Pacers finished in double figures in a 116-110 win over Washington, and the group seemingly found an identity and stuck with it the whole game. Indiana fed its big man in the paint, Domantas Sabonis, with great success. He finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and three steals.

Sabonis will have a tough assignment this game, matching up against 2021 All-Star Julius Randle on the block. Randle leads the Knicks in scoring (20.1 points per game) and rebounds (10). He is also averaging 5.3 assists per contest — 0.7 shy of his career-best.

Nonetheless, the Knicks' defense leaves much to be desired, and the Pacers have the weapons to break it down and find the open man. As of Monday, New York ranks 22nd in the league in defensive rating, surrendering an average of 109.8 points per 100 possessions. If the Blue & Gold continue to get touches in the paint to create open shots, they have a good chance to pull off another much-needed victory against a struggling opponent.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Chris Duarte, SF - Caris LeVert, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Knicks: PG - Alec Burks, SG - Evan Fournier, SF - RJ Barrett, PF - Julius Randle, C - Mitchell Robinson

Injury Report

Pacers: Justin Holiday - out (health and safety protocols), T.J. McConnell - out (sore right wrist), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)

Knicks: None

Last Meeting

Nov. 15, 2021: While the defense was clicking, the Pacers could not find enough shots to take home the road win against the Knicks. The squad shot a season-low 37.2 percent from the floor and recorded just 10 fourth-quarter points in a 92-84 defeat at Madison Square Garden. The Blue & Gold went 2-for-20 from the floor in the final frame, suffering several scoring droughts down the stretch.

Malcolm Brogdon tallied a team-high 22 points but went 9-of-20 from the field. Domantas Sabonis added 21 and 15 boards. However, he missed two crucial putbacks late that could have changed the momentum of the game. Caris LeVert was the third and final Pacer to finish in double figures with 17. Indiana's bench was outscored 44-13.

The game was an extremely defensive battle with both sides struggling to find shots for the majority of the game. An Immanuel Quickley triple with 8:52 to play tied the score at 74 apiece. New York then earned its first lead of the second half after Alec Burks hit two of three from the charity stripe. After Indiana regained an 82-79 edge, the Knicks responded with eight straight to take a four-point lead. LeVert's free throws with 1:55 remaining finally broke Indiana’s scoring drought.

Trailing 87-84 with just under a minute to play, Sabonis had a chance to cut the lead to one. However, his putback attempt was too strong as he sent it flying over the rim. Derrick Rose's layup with 57 seconds to play then pushed New York's advantage to five. The Blue & Gold had two good looks from deep but they did not fall, ending their comeback attempt.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana owns a 35-12 home record against New York all-time in the regular season.
  • The Pacers are 5-2 this season when six or more players finish in double figures.
  • This matchup features five players who played college basketball at the University of Kentucky (Isaiah Jackson, Kevin Knox II, Nerlens Noel, Immanuel Quickley, and Julius Randle).

Tickets

The Pacers continue their six-game homestand when they host Julius Randle and the New York Knicks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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