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Indiana Pacers vs New York Knicks NBA Pick – January 11th

The Indiana Pacers (27-14) have been magnificent this season, but the struggle has been real the past three games without big-man Myles Turner as teams are easily getting into the paint against Indiana.

Tonight at the New York Knicks (10-31), Turner is listed as questionable with a sore right shoulder. It should also be mentioned that Turner is also coming off a recent injury (broken nose) back on December 31 and is currently wearing a facemask.

When it rains it pours, especially for the Pacers’ defense. Without Turner the past three games, Indiana has been dismal allowing 123.7 PPG against them — opponents also shot 54.2 FG%. Shots up close were also at a rate of 62.7 FG%. Over the three game stretch, Indiana gave up a terrible 136 points in the paint.

Turner’s replacement has been Domantas Sabonis, who probably will start another game if Turner is out again. Sabonis hasn’t been bad on the offensive side and on the glass, however: This season, he’s averaging 15.0 PPG and 9.6 RPG with a PER of 24.23.

Overall, the Pacers started out the stretch with a 121-105 loss to the Toronto Raptors, and then split the first two with a 123-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then a 135-108 blowout to the Boston Celtics happened — a game where they allowed a season-high 56.8 FG%, were losing by 31 at one time, and allowed the most points in a regular season game since a 140-112 loss at Denver. That was back on January 12, 2017.

There’s a bright spot on Indiana’s resume for this year, however: They’ve won 14 out of their last 18 games, and currently sit in the No. 3 position in the Eastern Conference. The problem is, the Pacers have allowed at least 115 points in four straight games.

On the Knicks’ side, they’re returning home to New York City after going 1-5 on their road trip — this ending in a 122-95 blowout to the Golden State Warriors.

For the season, New York has been depressing with only 10 wins thus far. In their last 17 games, the Knicks have gone 2-15. They’re also on a six-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden.

Rookie Kevin Knox, who’s been impressing NYK fans this season, will be in the starting lineup once again tonight — he’s coming off a 12 point performance on Tuesday against Golden State. Enes Kanter looks like he will be missing another game after missing practice on Thursday because of an illness. Luke Kornet (6.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 18.02 PER) will be his replacement.

The Pacers are 12-1 in their last 13 meetings against New York.

INJURY REPORT

INDIANA PACERS

  • DARREN COLLISON: Sore Right Leg (Questionable)
  • MYLES TURNER: Sore Right Shoulder (Questionable)

NEW YORK KNICKS

  • ENES KANTER:Illness (Questionable)
  • FRANK NTILIKINA: Left Ankle (Doubtful)
  • ISAIAH HICKS:Left Ankle Injury (Out)
  • MITCHELL ROBINSON:Ankle, Groin (Out)

PLAYERS TO WATCH

INDIANA PACERS

VICTOR OLADIPO
Per usual, Victor Oladipo has been effective this season for the Indiana Pacers with a 18.92 PER. On the stat sheet, Oladipo has posted up a team-leading 19.9 PPG, though his shooting could be a bit higher at 43.4 FG%. And he’s also been lighting up the scoreboard in ball movement as well — he averages 5.1 APG. On the glass, the 6’4″ guard has been a threat grabbing 5.9 RPG. Needless to say, the Knicks have their work cut out for them with Oladipo alone.
DOMANTAS SABONIS
Though his defense hasn’t been the best the past three games as a starter, Sabonis has been solid this season — he’ll give the Knicks headaches in both scoring and on the glass. With a 24.23 PER, Sabonis has put up 15.0 PPG on the scoreboard, and this on elite 62.1 FG% shooting. But here’s where New York will have to watch him the most: The 9.6 RPG that he compiles that nearly puts him on double-double status. It’ll be interesting to see if the Knicks use Kevin Knox to double-team Sabonis — should be fun if so.

NEW YORK KNICKS

TIM HARDAWAY JR.
The 26-year-old Miamian-turned-New Yorker has done what’s been needed for the Knicks this season. Well, at least in the scoring department — even that comes with a problem though. On paper, Hardaway Jr. looks nice with a 20.0 PPG stat, but he’s been very inconsistent in hitting his shots with a 39.2 FG%. And that’s not where the bad news ends: He’s been ineffective on the glass only having 3.3 RPG, as well as ball movement with 2.7. And this is why he has a PER of 14.98. Will Hardaway Jr. or Mr. Inconsistency show up tonight?
EMMANUEL MUDIAY
As you can tell, the New York Knicks lack in starpower, and our latest example is Emmanuel Mudiay. For the expectations of Mudiay, he doesn’t have a bad statline, but him being one of the Knicks’ “best” players is what also has them at a 10-31 record. In scoring, he racks up a solid 14.1 PPG while shooting an average 44.6 FG%. In ball movement, he’s made his mark with a 4.1 APG tally. In the rebounding game, the 6’5″ guard hasn’t been the best with a 3.0 RPG stat.

CHECK THE NUMBERS

INDIANA PACERS

In the statistics, the Indiana Pacers have the edge in all of the categories, with the exception of a slight -2 disadvantage in the rebounding category. On the offensive side, both teams are nearly identical, with Indiana having the +1 advantage with 108.1 PPG — they also shoot an elite 48.1 FG% for the season. Their only disadvantage on the glass brings them a 43.4 RPG tally. But here’s where Indiana has New York: A +12 advantage on defense. They average a good figure of 103.1 PA this season — but remember, this is with Myles Turner.

NEW YORK KNICKS

On the offensive side for the New York Knicks, they sit right behind the Pacers with a 107.4 PPG mark — however, they have a -5 disadvantage in field goal percentage putting up a below-average 43.0 FG%. As previously mentioned, they do have a +2 advantage in rebounding sitting with 45.1 RPG, but it all falls apart with a -12 disadvantage on the defensive side of the ball. The Knicks’ defense has been outrageous this season allowing 115.8 PA — this adds up to a +/- of -8 for New York.

POWELL’S PREDICTION

Sitting at 27-14 on the season, the Indiana Pacers obviously come in better than the 10-31 New York Knicks — but you can expect the Knicks to take advantage of Myles Turner not being in the paint. The Pacers need to shut-down New York quick, and need to use this as a tune-up game to get the inside defense cleaned up as the season continues.

Do I see that happening? Somewhat. I don’t view Luke Kornet as a major threat towards the Pacers, but youngster Kevin Knox could show some bright-spots in tonight’s game with the circumstances being what they are. If he can stay consistent, Tim Hardaway Jr. could also get in the paint to give the Pacers headaches. Emmaneul Mudiay, another one who knows how to score, could also get inside to give Indiana problems.

With New York being what they are, they’ll only be so effective, but I still see Indiana having problems in this game like they have the past three — we should have an entertaining game as a result. But overall, the Knicks just can’t keep pace with the talent of a Victor Oladipo. New York hangs tight, but Indiana pushes away in the end for the win.

My Pick
New York Knicks +8.5
Author Details
Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell has been working with The Sports Geek since November 2018 providing analysis and predictions in both the realms of sports and politics. Studying journalism through the University of Michigan, Powell’s experience in sports includes tenures at mainstream newspapers The Williamsport Sun-Gazette and The Lock Haven Express, and he would also be affiliated with FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM in Hopewell, Virginia. In politics, it would include a stint with Mad World News and multiple with the Republican Party. From the Super Bowl to The Kentucky Derby to President Donald Trump’s hair, Powell has you covered at The Sports Geek.

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