Tommy’s Keys to the Game: Pacers at Knicks, G2, ECSF

 By Tommy Rothman

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The Knicks face Indiana tonight at the Garden in what is almost a must-win for New York, who dropped the first game of the series. The Knicks have never won a playoff series after losing game 1 at home, so they have an uphill battle in front of them. What do the Knicks need to do in order to even the series?

  • Leave it all on the floor. The Knicks don’t play again until Saturday, meaning they have no excuse to not go hard for 48 minutes tonight. They must play hard throughout the game, no matter the score.
  • Keep Melo on the court. The Knicks actually outscored the Pacers Sunday when Carmelo was on the floor. So why did they lose? Anthony was in foul trouble all game. The Knicks have to back him up on Defense so he can stay out of foul trouble without David West scoring 30. On the offensive end, Melo needs to keep his elbows to himself… when the ref is looking.
  • Keep their composure. The refs will be bad. Joey Crawford is working the game tonight. The Knicks need to play until the whistle, and react to the way the game is being called. If the Knicks are letting them play, be physical. If they are calling it tight, back off.
  • Hit their shots. This seems simplistic, but we cannot win if we shoot as badly as we did Sunday. Melo and JR must show up.
  • Stop Roy Hibbert! Tyson Chandler was terrible Sunday. He needs to defend and box out, and maybe give us something on offense, too.
  • Attack. The Pick&Roll has been great for the Knicks, and Melo is one of the best finishers in the game. Run the P&R, have Melo drive, and post him up on occasion. Force the issue. Don’t be afraid of Roy Hibbert.

If the Knicks do all this, we should be able to even the series before heading to Indiana for games 3 and 4. If not, they will be well on their way to an early vacation.

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