Three things to watch for in Game 1 of the New York Knicks/Indiana Pacers series tipping off at 3:30 PM today at Madison Square Garden.
1. Where’s The Bench? - Steve Novak is out today. Chris Copeland hasn’t left the bench in the Knicks last three games. Jason Kidd has gone ice cold. JR Smith has struggled heavily with his shot since throwing that elbow at #4 on the Celtics. Where is the production going to come from today? Obviously the Knicks need JR to get it going again but it will be interesting to see if Mike Woodson turns back to Copeland, gives Quentin Richardson some run or continues to use Marcus Camby.
2. The Shump - If Shumpert can fluster Paul George into a poor offensive game. How are the Pacers going to score enough points to keep pace with the Knicks? The answer is they probably can’t. Look for extended minutes for Shumpert as Mike Woodson should be comfortable leaving him in for extended stretches at this point and shouldn’t be hesitant to play him down the stretch.
3. Shoulder Safe - Carmelo Anthony has been dealing with a sore shoulder and you can bet David West and Roy Hibbert are aware of that. Can Anthony avoid getting it further banged up? Will he shy away from the post because of the injury? Needless to say, the Knicks need ‘Melo to be ‘Melo to get by such a strong defensive team.
Follow @TurnOnTheKnicks for live commentary today and make sure to check back for our recap!