The New York Knicks travel to Indiana tonight to take on the Pacers in a pivotal Game 3 match-up. It feels like it has been about 6 months since their last game, so make sure you catch up with all our content the past few days.
On to tonight’s preview
News broke this morning that JR Smith has a 102 degree fever and is questionable for tonight (DAMN YOU RIHANNA), along with that that the Knicks will be integrating Amare Stoudemire back into the rotation. It will be interesting to see how much Mike Woodson leans on Stoudemire who will be inevitably rusty but could potentially provide some needed offense off the bench and another big body to use against the Pacers size. As for filling in for Smith, it should mean more minutes for Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd…along with maybe a little more Chris Copeland.
The Knicks will need to withstand an initial surge of energy from the Pacers, who will be back in their home building and should be raring to get back on the court after getting hit with a 30-4 run en route to being blown out in Game 2. Hopefully, Carmelo Anthony can carry over his shooting from Tuesday (What in the hell was with this 3 day break by the way?) which will be needed more than ever if JR Smith isn’t suiting up.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Pacers coach Frank Vogel did a little shuffling to his rotation after his bench was brutally ineffective in Game 2. Could we see more Gerald Green? How will he handle his big men off the bench? Ian Mahinmi, Jeff Pendergraph, Sam Young and Tyler Hansborough have all struggled so far, so who will get the most run tonight?
The Knicks lost homecourt advantage from their Game 1 no-show and must avoid putting themselves in a desperate spot on the road in Game 4. Led by Anthony and a recently struggling Tyson Chandler, the Knicks must keep their composure on the road and play the way they are capable of. The Amare/JR story-lines will be worth watching but if the Knicks get a quality effort from Anthony-Chandler-Iman Shumpert and Ray Felton they should have more than enough offense to knock off the Pacers again.
Make sure to follow us @TurnOnTheKnicks for live commentary. We also have our very own @ChrisCelletti in the building tonight in Indiana, so follow him as well and look for a write-up on his experience.