Saturday, May 18, 2013
W2W4: Knicks at Pacers (Game 6)
By Ian Begley
Forget win or go home. This is win and go home.
If the Knicks win Game 6 of their series against the Pacers on Saturday night in Indy, they will force a Game 7 at home Monday night.
But it won't be easy. The Pacers are 5-0 at home in the playoffs. They also have history on their side: Only eight teams in NBA history have rebounded from a 3-1 series deficit.
The Knicks hope to become the ninth. Here are a few things to watch during the game. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.:
Will Hill play?George Hill missed Game 5 with a concussion. With Hill out, the Pacers were a mess on offense. They shot 35 percent from the field and had 19 turnovers. Hill's availability for Game 6 is unclear at this point.
He needs to pass a series of NBA-regulated tests before he can be cleared to play.
Hill's importance to the Pacers can't be overstated. With Hill on the court, the Pacers have outscored opponents by 61 points in the playoffs. When he's on the bench, Indy's been outscored by 37.
House of horrors: Bankers Life Fieldhouse hasn't been kind to the Knicks. They have lost all four road games against the Pacers this season, including two in this series.
The Pacers have been strong throughout the postseason at home, winning all five games by an average of 15.4 points.
One key to the Knicks' keeping pace Saturday is rebounding. Through the first four games of the series, Indiana had crushed New York on the boards, outrebounding the Knicks 186-144.
In their Game 5 win, the Knicks held their own, getting outrebounded by just two.
What will New York get from J.R.?J.R. Smith seemed to break out of his shooting slump -- slightly -- in Game 5. He went 4-for-11 with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
He has struggled mightily since his suspension in Game 4 of the Knicks-Celtics series. Since his suspension, Smith is shooting 29 percent from the floor.
Surprisingly, New York has been better with Smith on the floor. The Knicks have outscored the Pacers by an average of 9.9 points per 48 minutes in the 156 minutes Smith has been on the court but have been outscored by an average of 14.3 points per 48 minutes in the 84 minutes he has been on the bench.