The NBA is set up with another great slate of action on Saturday. Six games will be up on the board throughout the night of January 2. One of these games will be between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers. These two teams have had solid starts to the new season and will look to build off that with a win in this one. This game will tip off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
New York has started off this season with a record of 2-3, which has them tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are off to a solid start considering their previous season failures. New York will look to get back to .500 with a win in this one. The Knicks took a tough loss in their last game and will look to get back in the win column on Saturday night.
The Pacers have put up a record of 4-1 so far this season, which has them tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Indiana has gotten off to a quick start this season and are coming off a win in their last game. The Pacers suffered an early postseason exit last season and will look to improve upon their standings this season. Indiana will look to knock off this revived Knicks team in this one.
These two teams have gotten off to opposite starts this season, but there is still a lot of time to get going this season. New York is trying to erase the sour taste of the last couple of seasons and a solid early season record could help do that. Indiana has jumped out to a fast start and will look to take the top spot in the East with a win in this one.
The Knicks and the Pacers met up three times throughout last season. New York hosted the first game on December 7. Marcus Morris dropped 25 points, while Julius Randle finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. T.J. Warren finished with 25 points and Domantas Sabonis scored 19 points and 15 rebounds. Indiana was able to sneak out with a 104-103 win.
The Pacers hosted the second meeting of the season series on February 1. Domantas Sabonis scored 25 points and Myles Turner had 12 points. It was not enough for Indiana though. Marcus Morris finished with 28 points, while Julius Randle put up 16 points and 18 rebounds. New York was able to win a low scoring affair 92-85.
The third game of the season series was on February 21 in New York. Bobby Portis finished with 19 points and R.J. Barrett scored 17 points on the night. T.J. Warren was able to score 27 points and Domantas Sabonis scored 24 points and 13 rebounds. Doug McDermott added 14 points off the bench to help lead the Pacers to a 106-98 win.
These two teams met up three times throughout last season, with Indiana winning the series 2-1. The visiting team won all three of the games, which could lead to an interesting one in this one. These two teams battled it out in the paint in their three meetings and I would expect one of these teams to try to spread the floor more coming into this game.
Julius Randle has been helping lead this New York squad this season. Randle has averaged 23 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game. Alec Burks has been averaging 20.5 points per game this season. R.J. Barrett has averaged 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the beginning of his sophomore season. Elfrid Payton is averaging 12.5 points per game as well this season.
Domantas Sabonis has stepped up in a big way for the Pacers. Sabonis is averaging 22.5 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists per game. Victor Oladipo has averaged 21 points per game, while Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 20 points per game. T.J. Warren has averaged 15.5 points per game. Doug McDermott and Myles Turner are both averaging around 12 points per game this season as well.
Indiana’s lineup has been dangerous with their starting lineup stepping up and McDermott coming off the bench. Randle has been one of the leaders for this Knicks squad, while Burks and Barrett have stepped up in the lineup. If New York’s young players can step up this season, it will help them make a big push to the postseason.
Field Goal Shooting
The Knicks have not been great at shooting the ball throughout this season. New York has been able to make around 43.6 percent of their shots from the field, which is 26th in the league. The Knicks have also made 36.6 percent of their shots from deep, which is 13th in the NBA. New York has made 47.3 percent of their shots in close, which is 29th in the league.
Indiana has been lethal inside the arc this season, but have struggled heavily shooting from deep. The Pacers have made 51.1 percent of their shots from the field, which is 2nd in the NBA. Indiana has the best percentage inside the arc at 60.3 percent. The Pacers have only made 33.8 percent of their shots from deep, which is 21st in the league this season.
New York has been a three point shooting team this season, which could give them an edge in this one. The Pacers have struggled at defending the three point ball, which the Knicks will look to take advantage of. New York’s defense has been solid this season, especially around the perimeter. If the Knicks can establish their deep shot early and force Indiana inside, it could give them the edge in this one.
The Pacers are coming into this one with a strong start to the season. I believe that Indiana will not have a walk in the park win against the Knicks in this one though. New York can shoot well from deep, which could give them an advantage. The Knicks have also had solid defense this season, which should be able to keep this one close on Saturday night.
BetOnline Indiana listed as a -8 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a big edge to the Pacers on January 2. I think that this line should be closer early in the season. Indiana has dominated early in the season, but New York is not off to a bad start. I think that at the very lead the Knicks can keep this close, which makes the +8 ½ really enticing to me.