Matchup: New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Indiana -5
Total Line: 179.5
New York could only manage a split at home in the first two games of this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup so this past Saturday’s 82-71 loss in Game 3 as a five-point road underdog pretty much makes this contest a must-win. Defense has been the key so far in this series and the team that has done the best job on that end of the court has prevailed with the straight-up win in the first three games.
The Knicks held Indiana to just 79 points in Game 2 while putting-up 105 of their own. This past Saturday night Carmelo Anthony shot a dreadful 26 percent from the field on his way to a team-high 21 points with the next highest scorers posting just nine points. New York shot 35.2 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 53-40 in Game 3’s loss after shooting 49.4 percent in Game 2’s win.
The Pacers have already discovered the formula for beating New York and they will have a golden opportunity to use it Tuesday night at home to grab a dominating lead in this series. Indiana is at its best when banging under the boards and forcing Anthony to take one bad shot after another. It is by far the more physical team and has shown exceptionally good balance at spreading the ball around. When all these elements come together in a game plan the Pacers are an extremely tough team to beat.
Paul George led the team in scoring in the regular season with 17.4 points a game and so far in the playoffs he has assumed that roll again with an average of 18.3 points. He is also pulling down 8.2 rebounds while adding 4.8 assists. Indiana has three other players averaging over 14 points a game and as a whole it is scoring 92.2 points a game. The team is only shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from three-point range but it is making the most of its opportunities with an average of 47.6 rebounds a game.
Free NBA Pick
If Anthony gets hot like he did in Game 2 then New York wins this game. Given that he is shooting just 39.1 percent from the floor and 29.5 percent from beyond the arc there is a good chance that this does not happen. Look for the Pacers to win this contest straight-up but the free NBA pick is for him to shoot well enough to keep the Knicks within five points of Indiana on the scoreboard to cover against the spread.
Indiana 93 New York 89
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