Indiana will host the New York Knicks for the second time this season on January 2 in a rematch where we last saw the Pacers defeat the Knicks on opening night 121-107. These two storied franchises have a long history and have had several close meetings over the past few years. These two squads kick off the new year against one another with the Pacers coming in at (4-1) and the Knicks at (2-3)
New York Knicks Preview: Building a brick road out of 2020
The ending to 2020 was not what the Knicks had in mind, dropping another game 100-83 and handing the Toronto Raptors their first win of the year. The Knicks went into their meeting against the Raptors leading the NBA in 3 point percentage (45.9) but finished the night on a horrendous 3-36 shooting, setting a franchise record for the worst shooting in the team’s history.
Head coach of the New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau, has to find a way to get his young star back on track. RJ Barrett was spectacular in the season opener against the Pacers going for 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists on an efficient 11/15 from the field and 3/3 from three point range. Since then he has missed 21 consecutive 3 pointers, and his field goal percentage has dropped to 34% on the young season. He is a big part of the Knicks future, so hopefully Thibs can get him back on track sooner rather than later.
Knicks Forward, Julius Randle continues to impress the Knicks faithfully and give reason for excitement early on in the season. Randle is averaging (23 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 7 assists per game) while shooting (53.3) from the field and (52.9) from the 3 point line. Veteran guard Alec Burks has been a spark off the bench for the Knicks but with a roster struggling to stay healthy early on, this team will continue to struggle.
Indiana Pacers Preview: 3rd Quarter explosions leading way of Pacer early success
The Indiana Pacers ended 2020 on a high note with a win over division rival Cleveland Cavaliers (119-99). The Pacers come into the second match-up with a much improved offensive output thanks to new head coach Nate Bjorkgren. Through their first five games, the Pacers rank second in the NBA in field goal percentage shooting a remarkable (51.1) percent from the field. This is because of the unselfish play and balanced scoring attack of the team.
Heading into the match-up with the Cavaliers the Pacers were +52 in the third quarters this season. Nothing changed to start the third quarter in this one as they won the quarter 31-17. The players have praised coach Bjrokgren’s ability to adjust at halftime and spark them coming out of the locker room.
The Pacers have also put up some impressive defensive numbers to start the season. Blue and gold boast the sixth best defensive rating in the league, holding their opponents to just 104.1 points per 100 possessions.
Pacers vs Knicks Betting Odds & Lines
Mybookie has the Pacers at -9 home favorites in this game. The Knicks are dealing with some injuries, and RJ Barrett has struggled in a bad way as of late. The Pacers are going to have to find a way to contain Julius Randle though. In the opener Randle had 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. The Knicks will be hungry and eager to put the franchise’s worst shooting night behind them.
The Pacers suffered a big blow losing forward TJ Warren for the foreseeable future due to a fractured foot. This team is deep enough that it’s the next man up mentality going forward. Star guard, Victor Oladpio, has looked his old self early on and Domantas Sabonis has been dominant inside and out. Unselfish play, points in the paint, halftime adjustments, and third quarter explosions continue to be the identity of the new look Pacers.
The Pacers have won 9 of their last 10 meetings against the Knicks.
Spooky Express Free Betting Pick: Pacers -9