The New York Knicks will meet the Indiana Pacers for the first time this season on Wednesday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
New York will rue their defensive lapses that allowed the Toronto Raptors to come back from a huge deficit to win. The Raptors missed Pascal Siakam and rookie phenom Scottie Barnes but still clawed back to secure an inspiring win.
Tom Thibodeau’s teams have always been known to play solid defensively, so they will make the adjustments against a tough Indiana Pacers team on the latter’s home floor.
While the Indiana Pacers have never been fully healthy this season, they’ve always been resilient against elite teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat. If those on the lengthy injury list are unable to play, it will be another difficult stand against an explosive and determined New York Knicks team.
Rick Carlisle’s players were superb against the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs. However, the Indiana Pacers are going to find the New York Knicks to be more potent offensively and aggressive, particularly after the loss against the Raptors.
Fixture: New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers | 2021-22 NBA season.
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 3rd; 7:00 PM ET (Thursday, November 4th; 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN.
New York Knicks Preview
The New York Knicks’ fiery offensive display has shown no signs of slowing down, even after that loss to the Raptors. They are third in Offensive Rating with 113.5, second in three-point percentage with 40.8% and first in three-point shots made, averaging 16.6 a game.
Uncharacteristically for a Tom Thibodeau-led team, the New York Knicks are doing the exact opposite on defense. They are now 20th in Defensive Rating and are allowing opponents to score an average of 109.8 a game, which is 19th in the league.
The New York Knicks gave up 38 points in the third quarter, which basically swung the game over to the Raptors’ side. Nick Nurse’s team was 55.6% from the field and 7-14 from deep in the third quarter, where Nurse never made a substitution.
If the shots don’t fall, the New York Knicks must learn to play to their usual standards on defense. The defense should not have an off night. Unfortunately for the Knicks, it’s been the offense that’s carrying them to their impressive start to the season.
Key Player – Julius Randle
The New York Knicks go only as far as where Julius Randle can take them. The franchise’s perimeter game has recently gotten the attention after almost no production from that area in the last few years. With Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett doing damage from the outside, Randle’s contributions have been almost overlooked.
In the first quarter against the Raptors, the All-Star sizzled from just about anywhere on the court. He tallied 18 points on 5-6 field goal attempts, four rebounds and three assists in just one quarter. Four of those field goals came from deep, which showed Randle’s versatility and range.
Julius Randle is continuing his All-Star year with the New York Knicks this season. The Knicks’ outside game will only take effect if Randle’s dominance in the paint is established early.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
G – Kemba Walker | G – Evan Fournier | F – RJ Barrett | F – Julius Randle | C – Mitchell Robinson.
Indiana Pacers Preview
Rick Carlisle’s job of figuring out this Indiana Pacers roster has been hampered by the health of significant players. T.J. Warren hasn’t seen a minute of action yet, while Caris LeVert has only just suited up.
Malcolm Brogdon has been sidelined since the Toronto Raptors game with a hamstring issue. Isaiah Jackson is suffering from a knee injury with Jeremy Lamb still recovering from an ankle sprain. The injury woes have forced Carlisle to roll out weird units at times, which have affected the team’s chemistry.
The saving grace has been the health and play of their starting frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. Their often awkward fit in the lineup has been put into question, but they have been carrying the cudgel for the Indiana Pacers for some time already.
If the Pacers hope to be competitive, they’d have to hope for the frontline to carry on with their impressive start. They’re also going to rely on rookie Chris Duarte for production and hustle.
Key Player – Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis has been quietly spectacular in a conference that often sees Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bam Adebayo regularly grab the headlines.
Against the Miami Heat’s unforgiving defense and relentless pressure, the two-time All-Star still ended up with a double-double in 43 minutes of play. He also added four assists and four steals to cap his all-around brilliance. The Indiana Pacers outscored the Heat by 18 points in the minutes he played.
Sabonis’ under-the-radar play is not lost on opposing teams. The San Antonio Spurs focused their defense on him and he still ended up with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. The Lithuanian superstar’s ability to read the game and set up teammates makes the Indiana Pacers a tough matchup, even when undermanned.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G – T.J. McConnell | G – Caris LeVert | F – Chris Duarte | F – Domantas Sabonis | C – Myles Turner.
Knicks vs Pacers Match Prediction
The New York Knicks will find that loss against the Toronto Raptors hard to swallow. After another promising and overwhelming start, they just could not stop the Raptors from coming back. They will be raring to redeem themselves this time against the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers, on the other hand, played their best basketball against the San Antonio Spurs. Although shorthanded, they produced their highest-scoring game this season with 131. If Malcolm Brogdon comes back, the New York Knicks could be in for a surprise yet again.
The matchup will be a tough battle between both teams. New York’s offensive firepower could be just a little too much for Indiana to overcome. In a seesaw fight, Tom Thibodeau’s team could edge the Indiana Pacers.
Where to watch the Knicks vs Pacers game?
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The MSG Network and Bally Sports Indiana will cover the New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers game locally. The NBA League Pass will stream live the same game. Radio commentaries for the action will be available via WFNI-FM/AM and WEPN.