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N.Y. Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers Game 4 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Knicks vs Pacers Handicapping

If the Indiana Pacers hold serve at home tonight in Game 4 of their Eastern semifinals series against the New York Knicks and go on to face Miami in the conference finals, they will have survived despite playing perhaps the worst stretch of NBA playoff history.

New York Knicks (1-2) at Indiana Pacers (2-1)
Eastern Conference
Tuesday, May 14
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
7 p.m. EST
Spread – Pacers -5.5 at Sportsbook.ag
O/U – 179.5

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But being outscored by a 30-2 margin late in Gam2 2 in New York doesn’t seem to have left the Pacers any worse for wear.

They responded to that Game 2 beatdown with an impressive 82-71 Game 3 victory. Coupled with Indiana’s Game 1 win in New York, the Pacers enter tonight’s game with both momentum and home-court advantage.

A victory tonight gives the Pacers a 3-1 stranglehold on the series and a chance to put the Knicks down for good on Thursday night in New York.

In contrast to New York, the Pacers are healthy and happy as they start to think about what kind of a shot they would have against the Heat. Roy Hibbert turned in a dominating effort vs. New York in Game 3, scoring 24 points and hauling down 12 rebounds. Hibbert completely outplayed Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who scored only 9 points and grabbed just 5 rebounds in in the loss.

Foul trouble kept Chandler off the court for long stretches (he played less than 30), and it’s clear that his offense has struggled while he tries to contain Hibbert on the defensive end. (Understand that Chandler is no slouch – on Monday he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team.)

As if the Knicks didn’t have enough to worry about tonight, they have to figure out a way to keep Paul George from going bananas again. George filed up the stat sheet in Game 3 (14 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds and 5 steals) and at times has seemed to be everywhere at once. George never seems to tire, and in Indiana’s two series wins has averaged 43½ minutes of play. If George gets it going early, the Knicks will be in for a tough night. [ad-6571516]

Besides dealing with the Pacers, New York has some issues of its own to iron out. Carmelo Anthony may not be 100 percent physically, and when he’s not 100 percent he doesn’t shoot well, and when he doesn’t shoot well (16 for 44 total in the two losses in the series) the Knicks’ chances of winning usually can be found at the bottom of a deep well.

Anthony is an iso player who will get his shots come hell or high water, and when they’re not falling New York usually gets a little of each.

If that isn’t bad enough, New York is getting no offense from J.R. Smith, and there are rumors of back-biting as they try to work Amare Stoudemire back into the rotation. Typical Knicks.

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None of the games in this series have been close, but this one could go down to the wire as even the knucklehead Knicks realize that it could be the end of the line if they mail in another one on the road. Melo needs to get off quickly and the Knicks need to expend some energy on the defensive end to make it happen.

An easier read might be on the total, where there has been an under (Game 3, 183), a push (Game 2, 184) and an over (Game 1, 181.5).

Scrambling to get a grasp on a legit O/U total, oddmakers have set tonight’s number at 179.5, and with a decent shooting night the teams should be able to hit that. We like the over.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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