One of the most storied rivalries in the NBA resumes on Saturday when the New York Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers. The last time these two teams met, it was the Pacers who went home with the 121-107 victory in their season opener.
You can check out the NBA’s first-half schedule for the 2020-21 season here.
Fixture - New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Saturday, January 2nd, 7:00 PM ET (Sunday, January 3rd, 5:30 AM IST)
Location - Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
The New York Knicks had an embarrassing shooting night from 3-point range on Thursday against the Toronto Raptors when they shot 3-of-36 or 8.3 percent from deep. That’s a franchise record-low for the Knicks who were gunning for their third straight win until the Raptors beat them 100-83.
For the Indiana Pacers, who are 4-1 this season, they are coming off an impressive 119-99 trouncing of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sabonis, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists to lead the Pacers to the win.
New York Knicks Preview
With a new coach in Tom Thibodeau this season, the New York Knicks players are figuring things out both offensively and defensively. They did quite well defensively against the Raptors by holding them to 41 percent shooting from the field. Offensively, the Knicks did poorly as they shot 36.4 percent from the floor on Thursday.
To win against one of the best teams in the league this season, the Knicks have to figure out how to get easier buckets while playing stingy defense as with the Raptors game.
Key Player - R.J. Barrett
The New York Knicks’ lottery pick from last season, R.J. Barrett is shooting poorly from the field this season. After scoring 26 points in their season opener versus the Indiana Pacers, Barrett only scored 10, 17, 12, and 12 points on an atrocious 25.8 percent field-goal shooting in his last four games.
He’s been given the green light to shoot by Thibodeau but he just hasn’t made many of his attempts. For the Knicks to win against the Pacers, Barrett has to perform better than he has in recent days.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
G Elfrid Payton G RJ Barrett F Reggie Bullock F Julius Randle C Mitchell Robinson
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers are one of the hottest teams in the league with a 104.1 defensive rating which is seventh in the league, and a fifth-best 113.2 offensive rating. Their only loss was to the Boston Celtics who defeated them 116-111 as Sabonis struggled with his shot. Otherwise, the Pacers have been balling this season.
They are hoping to continue their dominance with a second win against the Knicks this season.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
The success of the Indiana Pacers this season can be attributed to the continued development of Domantas Sabonis. The first-time All-Star is averaging career-highs in points (22.4) and assists (7.2) while contributing a team-high 11.0 rebounds per game.
Sabonis will have to continue playing as well as he has since the beginning of the season if the Pacers hope to make it to the postseason once again.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G Malcolm Brogdon G Aaron Holiday F Victor Oladipo F Domantas Sabonis C Myles Turner
Knicks vs Pacers Match Prediction
Unlike the New York Knicks who are still figuring out their strengths, the Indiana Pacers are clear about their identity and are improving with every game. They will be missing the services of T.J. Warren for some time so everyone has to step up.
The Knicks are missing numerous players and will have to make do with having most of their guards unavailable to play. They will have to contend with the Pacers’ excellent defense without many of their playmakers.
Expect the Pacers to win this round once again.
Where to Watch Knicks vs Pacers?
Also Read: How many female NBA referees are there?Published 02 Jan 2021, 21:55 IST