Eastern Conference Semifinals: Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks Game 5

2013 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #5
#3 Indiana Pacers at #2 New York Knicks
Pacers Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York
Opening Line: New York -4
Current Line: New York -5
Opening Total: 179
Current Total: 179
Opening Money Line: Knicks -190 / Pacers +160
Current Money Line: Knicks -205 / Pacers +175 

The Knicks look to stave off elimination in game five against the Pacers.
The Knicks look to stave off elimination in game five against the Pacers.

Before the playoffs started many had already penciled in the New York Knicks as the team most likely to challenge the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference title. However, the #2 seeded Knicks find themselves on the brink of elimination as they are down 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the #3 seeded Indiana Pacers. The Knicks return home Thursday night looking to extend the series and force game six Saturday night in Indianapolis. The Pacers will look to wrap up the series and return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004. The Heat already advanced in 5 games against the Chicago Bulls.

The Pacers stole home court advantage with their 102-95 win in game one of the series. The Knicks would rebound in game 2 with a 105-79 rout. The Pacers have played stifling defense in the last two games in Indianapolis. The Pacers won game 3 82-71 and game 4 Tuesday 93-82.   In game 4, the Knicks shot just 35.6% from the field. The Pacers weren’t much better at 40.8% from the field. The main difference in the game was Indiana had a heavy rebounding edge at 54-36. The Knicks were never really in the game as the Pacers took a 14 point lead into halftime.

Indiana point guard George Hill scored 26 points to lead all scorers and also added 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Small forward Paul George had 18 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Power forward David West had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and added 9 rebounds. Anthony was 9/23 from the field. J.R. Smith, the NBA’s sixth man of the year, has struggled to score since he was suspended for game 4 against the Boston Celtics in the first round. He scored 19 points Tuesday night but he was 7/22 from the field. Tyson Chandler had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and also added 3 blocks.

Indiana is coached by Frank Vogel. The Pacers are 49-42 ATS and the total is 43-46-2 this season. The Pacers are outscoring teams 95-91 this season. Indiana is second in the league in points allowed and #23 in scoring. The Pacers are shooting 43.6% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Indiana is 22nd or worse in both categories. The Pacers make 74.6% of their free throws. Indiana leads the league in rebounding at 45.8 per game, and are #8 in rebounds allowed at 40.9. Indiana opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Pacers lead the league in both categories. Indiana averages 20.3 assists, 7.2 steals, 6.3 blocks, and 14.5 turnovers.

In the playoffs, George is averaging 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Hill is averaging 16 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. West is averaging 15.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Center Roy Hibbert is averaging 13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Lance Stephenson, Gerald Green, D.J. Augustin, and Tyler Hansbrough make up the rest of the rotation. The Pacers have played the entire season without all-star forward Danny Granger.

New York is coached by Mike Woodson. The Knicks are 50-40-2 ATS and the total is 41-48-1 this season. New York is outscoring teams 100-96 this season. The Knicks are #11 or better in both categories. New York is shooting 44.9% from the field and 37.6% from 3 point range. The Knicks are #5 in three point shooting. New York makes 75.8% of their free throws. The Knicks average 40.7 rebounds per game and give up 41.5 per game. Knicks’ opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.1% from 3 point range. New York is #27 in 3 point defense. New York averages 19.2 assists, 8.2 steals, 3.7 steals, and 11.6 turnovers per game.

In the playoffs, Anthony is averaging 27.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Point guard Raymond Felton is averaging 15.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. Smith is averaging 14.3 points and 4 rebounds. No other Knick is averaging more than 8.8 points during the playoffs. Iman Shumpert, Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Amar’e Stoudemire, Pablo Prigioni, and Jason Kidd make up the rest of the rotation. Stoudemire returned to the Knicks for game 3 after missing  significant time down the stretch with a foot injury. He will play no more than 12 minutes.per game.

Indiana is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records, overall, and against Eastern Conference teams, 3-7 in Thursday games, 2-5 in road games, and against teams with winning home records. The under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 in this series.

New York is 8-2 ATS in Thursday games, 7-2 after failing to cover, 6-2 after a loss, 12-4 at home, 9-3 on one day rest, 11-4 against teams with winning records, 10-4 against teams with losing road records, 2-5 overall, and against Eastern Conference teams. The home team and favorite are both 5-1 ATS in the last 6 in this series. The Knicks have covered 4 of the last 5 at home against the Pacers.

Much like Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony is having to shoulder too much of the scoring load.  He is exhausted by the fourth quarter. I don’t care if they are playing in MSG or not, the Knicks won’t win this game if they don’t get some more scoring from someone other than Carmelo.

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