In anticipation of this match-up, I asked Pacers-loyal, outstanding statistician and writer Ian Levy about Indiana’s team this season and the approaching matchup. Ian runs the NBA site Hickory High, and you can find his writing at Bleacher Report, Hardwood Paroxysm, Indy Cornrows and HoopChalk.
As long as I’ve been watching them, the Knicks have been the picture of organizational volatility. Sometimes chaos, fire and brimstone coalesce into a destructive force. But sometimes you burn down your own kitchen.
Some regression is on it’s way, particularly with regards to his mid-range shooting. But he’s already leaps and bounds ahead of where he was to begin last season. The next barriers for him are maintaining consistency and finding ways to balance the inside and outside parts of his offensive game. He’s been incredible to start the season but if he can’t find a way to work his to the interior more often the Pacers are going to have a hard time creating a consistently efficient offense with him as the centerpiece.
The Pacers best attribute is their #BlueCollarGoldSwagger. But after that, the consistency in their rotations would probably come next. Being able to run the same starting five out nearly every night (for two seasons) let’s let everyone settle into their scaffolded roles, offensively and defensively. No one has questions about when they’ll play or what they’ll be asked to do.
In the playoffs last season the Pacers often let George guard Melo switching West onto a less threatening back court player. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do something similar again. To be honest I think the Pacers would be fine with Bargnani shooting jump shots and I don’t think the threat of him on the outside will do much to move Hibbert. If the Knicks win this game I don’t think it’s going to be tinkering with rotations and match ups that create the opportunity.
They haven’t been world beaters, but honestly all the Pacers needed last season was competency. So far they have more than sufficed in that regard.
I hear Shumpert might be available…?
Finally, who takes tonight’s game and why?
The Pacers. They’re a much better team and play a variance-stomping style of basketball.