As confident as the Indiana Pacers have to be in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden after two dominating wins at home, the team remains a crap shoot on the road. Yes they played well in closing out the Atlanta Hawks on the road and in Game 1 at MSG, but Game 2 balanced out those two strong performances with a familiar road implosion.
If the Pacers can bring their solid play to Game 5, they should have a great chance to close out the Knicks. But the Knicks can always try something new which may get them going at home.
Toward the end of halftime in Game 4, Steve Novak was the second Knicks player to return to the court. He promptly grabbed a ball, went behind the arc and drained a three-point shot. Then another and another and...you get the point. Novak wouldn't play until the game was decided, but Mike Woodson may take a shot at letting his shooters on the pine takes some shots.
Pablo Prigioni will start again, and with Novak, Chris Copeland and even Quentin Richardson, the Knicks have plenty of options to overload the arc with gunners who can ride a hot hand to a big W. Now all of the above present major defensive issues for New York which the Pacers would have to take advantage of, but if they are knocking down shots then it won't matter.
This isn't exactly a desperation approach since the Knicks won lots of regular season games with a long-bomb attack. The Pacers should be able to handle such an approach but will need to remain disciplined and take care of the ball to counter with their own offense (not their strong suit on the road). Of course, the Knicks could continue trying to get in the paint and hope the game is officiated differently, but the Pacers seem to have established ownership of the interior so I'd expect the Knicks to at least try something different.
What other options could the Knicks throw at the Pacers?
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