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Do the Knicks even have one more win left in them at this point?
Joe Caporoso - I’m going to put on my Orange and Blue Glasses for this Roundtable and try to be optimistic. The Pacers are a young team going on the road to close out a series against a higher seeded team. It is reasonable to assume they won’t play with the desperation and poise necessary to end the Knicks season tomorrow night. Some of the Knicks jump shots have to fall at some point and role players generally feel more comfortable at home compared to the road. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Knicks won tomorrow, which sets them up to be one upset away from hosting a Game 7 against a Pacers team that’d be very tight by that point. Unfortunately, it is almost unfathomable to see how the Knicks would win that Game 6 on the road with how they’ve been playing. Game 5 seems more realistic and you like to think there is still some pride floating around that locker room and they won’t want to have the season end on their home court.
Chris Celletti - The Knicks very well may have three wins left in them. They may have seven wins left in them, or 11. They also may have a big robust ZERO wins left in them. I have no freaking clue. I’m done trying to figure this team out.
Based totally out of reality, I think the Knicks will win Game 5. I have no empirical evidence to back this prediction up. There’s barely any real confidence behind this line of thinking, either. I just think they’re due to hit a few shots, they were a good home team all season, and at some point George Hill and Lance Stephenson are going to miss a few of those open looks that they get. It very well might happen against the Heat but, mark my words, it will happen at some point. If it doesn’t happen, the Pacers can win an NBA title.
How do the Knicks win a game? By being themselves. They played a certain style all year, and they’ve freaked out and made knee-jerk adjustments instead of trusting in the players and system that won them 54 games during the regular season. Yes, the Pacers are a great defensive team, and have proven throughout the season that they’re a horrific matchup for the Knicks. So maybe that’s just what it is, that the Knicks could play a 47-game series against Indiana and have no chance. But if you’re the Knicks, you have to go down swinging with your best shot, and to do that, you just have to be yourself.
That means going small at the risk of getting out-rebounded. That means varying the offensive sets; high pick-and-rolls, side pick-and-rolls, and isos when it makes sense. It also means simply hitting open shots, which the Knicks have not done except an 8-minute span in Game 2. J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Iman Shumpert hit open shots basically all season. Now that they’ve stopped, the Knicks are in serious trouble. And if they don’t start getting shots to go, the Knicks will be officially done and it won’t be any mystery as to why.
Matt Fritz - .As bad as the Knicks have played, I can’t see them losing game 5 on their home floor. Ultimately, I think they bounce back and win that game, and force a game 6 back in Indy. Can the Knicks find a way to win three straight and claim the series? Yes. Will they? Well there is just no reason to believe that they will. As poor as the Knicks have played, I think what’s more is the fact that the Pacers are just a better overall team. This is just not a good matchup for the Knicks, and it is clearly showing. With that being said, the Knicks sure did pick a poor time to start shooting terribly. Unless guys like J.R. Smith, Jason Kidd, and Iman Shumpert start to finally shoot out of their slumps (J.R. may have at the end of game 4) this series will be over in Indy in game 6.
Kevin Smith - Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but much like the Celtics didn’t roll over and die for the Knicks, they won’t do the same for the Pacers. This team is littered with experienced vets who won’t throw in the towel just because the odds are stacked against them. I think the Knicks defend their home court in Game 5, but judging by the way they’ve performed so far this series, there’s no chance they can push it any further. Not that I’ve totally given up on the season, but I’m appreciative of the best year I’ve seen from the New York Knicks in over a decade. I just hope they can reward the home fans with a show on Thursday night because we all know how cruel the crowd can be at The Garden. The boo birds will be out in full force if things get ugly quick.