This article was written by new poster Ben Horney. — Joe
The New York Knickerbockers host the Indiana Pacers in Madison Square Garden at 8 p.m. this Halloween for a spooky showdown that fans can watch while ignoring the doorbell and eating the very candy they originally purchased to hand out to trick-or-treaters.
The Knicks currently sit at 2-5 on the season, coming off a win against the Brooklyn Nets. The Pacers, meanwhile — which are expected to be among the top teams in the Eastern Conference when all is said and done this year — come to New York with a record of 4-3, having just lost to Portland Trail Blazers.
They say those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes, and the Day of the Dead is no time to tempt fate, so let’s dig into how the Knicks have historically fared on Halloween.
Since the team’s establishment in 1946, the Knicks have an overall record of 8-12 in games played on Halloween, according to basketball-reference.com, meaning a victory against the Pacers could push them a little closer to having a .500 record on the haunted holiday.
Most recently, the Knicks defeated John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards on Halloween in 2015, in D.C., behind a monster game from Carmelo Anthony. Anthony carved up the Wizards defense like a jack-o-lantern, finishing with 37 points on 11-18 from the field (including 4 of 5 from three point range), and adding 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block.
Melo’s spectacular performance, which spoiled the Wizards home opener, can be attributed in part to an off-the-court beef he decided to settle on the hardwood. During an offseason interview with ESPN Radio, Wizards forward Jared Dudley had claimed Anthony was the most overrated player in the NBA, so Melo decided to be the opposite of mellow; the game featured some jawwing between the two players that eventually led to a double technical, but Anthony got the last laugh, and after the game he confirmed that he had intended to make the game a nightmare for Dudley.
“It got back to me,’’ Anthony said, of Dudley’s offseason comments. “It definitely got back to me. It becomes competitive at that point. You want to go out there and show what you’re made of. Tonight was one of those nights. This was a game I circled on my calendar. I’ll see him three more times.’’