When I turned on the radio yesterday to listen to sports talk radio in New York City I expected to hear plenty of disappointed New York Knicks fans. What I didn’t expect to hear was how shocked everyone seemed to be over the Indiana Pacers‘ victory in game of their series with the Knicks. Knicks fans were incredulous over how the Pacers could’ve beaten the two seed in the Eastern Conference.
Me, I was shocked at their shock! Despite the seeding, the Pacers are the better team and should win the series with the Knicks. If you’re a Knicks fan, take away your objectivity for a minute and look at how the teams, and coaches, match-up and you’ll find the Pacers to be the better group.
The Knicks rely on two main scoring options in Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, and after those two, they don’t get consistent points from any player. The Pacers were second best team in the NBA in total defense, so it seemed like a tough match-up for the Knicks to begin with. Couple in the fact that Indiana is the much tougher team physically and you can see how the Pacers have the upper hand.
For as good as the Knicks have been this season, they aren’t the most physical team in the league. It wasn’t until Kenyon Martin came to the Knicks that they brought any type of real toughness to the floor. Anthony and Smith can score with the best of them, but they both tend to settle for jump shots when they are being hit going to the basket and the Pacers will continue to do that in the series. The Pacers bring the toughness and physical brand of basketball the Knicks don’t like to play against.
The Pacers, despite what anyone has been saying about them in their match-up with the Knicks, have very good players. It may be hard for Knicks fans to hear this, but after ‘Melo, the three next best players in the series are all Pacers. Paul George is a star on the rise, David West is a great all-around player and George Hill is a very good player as well. So despite what you hear from Knicks fans, the Pacers have plenty of talent.
Indiana is also the best rebounding team in the league, something the Knicks struggle at, so there are certainly plenty of reasons to question why the Pacers are underdogs in this series. Throw in the fact that Frank Vogel is a better coach than Mike Woodson and it’s easy to see that the Pacers should not be the underdog against the Knicks.
The Indiana Pacers are the better team in their series with the New York Knicks, and there is no reason to be in shock if they win this series.
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