Happy Halloween, friends. What are you dressing up as? Might I suggest being Dr. Jacoby?
If you’re just hanging home and dishing out candy to the youth you can see the Indiana Pacers (4-3) comes to town to face your New York Knicks (2-5). Hopefully the Knicks give the Pacers some poison apples.
It won’t be easy though. The Pacers stay in front and challenge defensively. Victor Oladipo is sure to make the game tough on Knicks leading scorer, Tim Hardaway Jr. Watch this lightning quick close out and challenge, it took a fantastically crisp move by CJ McCollum to create enough space for the score.
Oladipo never reaches he just gets chest to chest and jolts players off their spot. Then turning to the offensive side of the ball, Oladipo will keep his defender in jail and make the easy dish or burst to the open space for a quick two.
Here Domantas Sabonis rumbles to the tin but you could just as easily see Myles Turner pop over to the wing and fire an 18-footer. It’s a staple of the Pacers offensive focus. Expect a lot of high screens with the ball handler careening to the middle of the floor to force slow-footed big men to make snap decisions. Can the Knicks out-execute the cavalcade of penetrators?
Tyreke Evans vs Enes Kanter. Yep, this is the heat seeking missile Indiana can’t wait to deploy. Indiana gets tons of bench production. Their bench leads the the NBA in assists and is top five in FG%, points and rebounds. Meanwhile, the Knicks have a 116 DRtg with Kanter on the court (107.8 off). Here let’s watch as Caleb Swanigan try and contain Evans as he turns the corner.
Yikes! You can’t cheat under Evans as he’s hitting 47% of his threes so far and has been connecting around 40% for the past few seasons now. And if you get caught behind you have a rugged 2-on-1 headed directly to the rim. Good luck, cornball.
The Knicks hit on all cylinders against Brooklyn but Indiana won’t be as watery on defense. If Frank Ntilikina can continue to make progress and keep his teammates flowing the Knicks may be able to hang with this formidable opponent. The Pacers don’t live and die by the three like so much of the league today, so if the Knicks clamp up they’ll be there at the end. Indiana is just a little more poised for success with a bench that will terrorize the Knicks second unit.
I’m giving it to New York by -4. Not your ordinary tank job this year. Lest we forget...
Hey, team, pass that pumpkin! Here’s some warm up music.