New York Knicks (1-1) vs. Indiana Pacers (1-1) NBA Betting Preview
Date/Time: May 11, 8:00 pm EST
NBA Gambling Odds from Bookmaker
NBA Betting Favorite: Pacers -4
The Indiana Pacers went into Madison Square Garden and took Game One from the Knicks. They then led in the third quarter of Game Two before being thumped the rest of the game. The Knicks ended up winning 105-79 to tie up the series at one game apiece. The series shifts to Indiana now. Who will get the momentum this Saturday in Game Three?
Carmelo Anthony had his best game of the playoffs in the Knicks Game Two win on Tuesday night. Anthony completely dominated on the offensive end in the third and fourth quarters. He had some highlight reel plays and really got the crowd rocking at Madison Square Garden. Up until that game, Anthony hadn’t shot 50 percent from the floor in any game so far this postseason. Amar’e Stoudemire is questionable for this game. If he plays how will it change the team dynamic?
The Pacers are a difficult matchup for the Knicks. Indiana plays good defense and makes the Knicks work hard for shots on the offensive end. J.R. Smith has been awful in the first two games of this series, and his coach even said recently that Smith might see less playing time in the near future. Smith won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award this year, and he can fill it up in a hurry when he gets going, but he is still a very streaky player. In order to win this series, the Knicks must match the Pacers intensity on the defensive end. Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin will have to be big for the Knicks defense.
The Indiana Pacers got to this point by playing terrific defense. Indiana is holding opponents to just 42 percent shooting from the floor, which makes them the number one field goal defense in the NBA. They had more defensive breakdowns in the fourth quarter of Game Two than they have in most full games, so they’ll have to fix that. The Pacers are good defensively because they have a ton of long athletic wings who can contest just about every shot their opponent puts up. It also doesn’t hurt to have a 7’2 shot blocker in the paint (Roy Hibbert).
Offensively, Indiana often struggles to get good looks. The Pacers aren’t a terribly efficient offensive team. Their best offense generally comes on offensive rebounds. Indiana led the NBA in offensive rebounding this year. Paul George led the team in scoring this year, and he was the NBA’s Most Improved player. George does a good job getting to the rim and getting to the free throw line often. The player who often makes or breaks this Indiana offense is George Hill. When Hill is scoring consistently, this offense can be tough to slow down. The Pacers need a little more offensively from Roy Hibbert in the post as well.
Free NBA Pick: Pacers -4
The Pacers play much better at home, and I think this is a good matchup for them. Indiana has a great opportunity to gain control of this series by taking care of business at home.
is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!