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The Gold Sheet

The Gold Sheet

(561) Indiana Pacers at (562) New York Knicks

(561) Indiana Pacers at (562) New York Knicks
May 8, 2024 8PM EDT
Play Rating:
2% – (561) Indiana Pacers at (562) New York Knicks Total Over 219.0 (-110)

The Knicks escaped a back-and-forth affair in Game 1, eventually earning a 121-117 win at Madison Square Garden but failing to cover the spread as 5.5-point favorites. Entering this series, the biggest question mark surrounded the pace of play. New York played at the slowest pace in the league during the regular season, while Indiana played at one of the fastest. The Knicks do not have a deep bench, and the Pacers' path to victory would likely involve running a fast tempo to tire a short-handed Knicks squad. Well, that Kicks' bench is now even shorter. Key defender Mitchell Robinson suffered a stress injury to his ankle and will be out 6-8 weeks. Outside of the Knicks' starting five, Precious Achiuwa and Miles McBride were the only other players to see the floor in Game 1, and those two only combined for 15 minutes. Josh Hart played all 48 minutes with Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo each playing 44 minutes. The opposite is true for Indiana as the Pacers have led all playoff teams in bench points per game while their reserves are shooting the second-highest field goal percentage. Tyrese Haliburton only scored six points in 36 minutes but did have four steals on defense. T.J. McConnel came off the bench to score 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting. The absence of Robinson will factor into Indiana attacking the paint more in this game, as the Pacers rank fourth in points in the paint per game in the playoffs and first among all teams in the regular season. The total has climbed about four points from Game 1 to Game 2, but it still might not be high enough. The Knicks lost their best interior defender. Haliburton only scored six points. After playing at the slowest pace in the league during the regular season, the Knicks now lead all playoff teams in fast-break points per game. This goes against what Knicks' head coach Tom Thibodeau has traditionally wanted to do, but the formula is working. For now.

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