Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers Pre-Game News and Notes April 3

Tuesday April 3rd, 7:00 P.M. ET 
New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers 

The Knicks begin a tough stretch of games tonight in Indiana against the Pacers. The Knicks will have to become road warriors with 4 of their 5 next games being played on the road, a place they have struggled throughout the season. It will be a tough road with the Knicks missing some pieces, but at 27-26 the Knicks sit 2 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. This will be the 3rd meeting between the Knicks and Pacers this season, with the Knicks taking the first two as part of a back-to-back in March. 

-Injury Updates 

The Knicks start this tough stretch of games as one of the most banged up teams in the NBA. Jared Jeffries is set to start running this week but is not ready for game action. Jeremy Lin had successful knee surgery on Monday, and is expected to be out up to 6 weeks. Lin thinks he can be back in a shorter amount of time, but we will have to wait and see. Amar’e Stoudemire is also out for 1-3 more weeks, with Mike Woodson calling him day-to-day during shoot around this morning. Stoudemire is now traveling with the team for moral support as well. Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony, who have both been battling groin injuries, are a go for Tuesday’s game. 

-Own the Paint 

The Knicks will need a concerted effort in protecting the paint tonight against the Pacers. The Pacers have a big front line, led by All-Star Center Roy Hibbert and former All-Star David West. The Knicks will need a strong performance tonight in the paint. The previous two games this season against the Pacers the Knicks were able to control the paint, dominating rebounds and points in the paint which led to two blowout victories. If the Knicks can duplicate that another victory should be in the cards. 

-Bomb Squad 

The Knicks have game changing players in Steve Novak and J.R. Smith. With the efficiency they shoot the 3 pointer, a game’s momentum can change at the snap of a finger. When they are successful from the 3 point line it also opens up more opportunities in the paint for easy baskets. When the Knicks are clicking from deep, Carmelo Anthony is able to roam freely in the paint, making even more open opportunities for the Knicks shooters. 

-Team Defense 

The previous two games against the Pacers this season the Knicks were able to get big leads behind their stellar defense. In the first match-up Tyson Chandler dominated Roy Hibbert, taking it out on him it seemed for not being selected to the All-Star game. Also Carmelo Anthony played outstanding defense in both games against All-Star Danny Granger. Granger was held to 9 and 11 points in the two games, well below his season average of 18.2 points per game. The Knicks were also able to hold David West in check in games, scoring 8 and 3 in the games. If the Knicks can give a defensive effort like they did in the last 2 game against the Pacers another victory should be on the horizon.

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