While it seems like a few months ago, it has actually only been a few weeks since the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks were engaged in dead heat for the second spot in the East. Half game leads were tossed back and forth as both teams played at a high level with Sunday's game in Madison Square Garden highlighted as game that would settle this things one way or the other.
Now that the big game is upon us, the outcome remains nearly as important but for the Pacers, the stakes no longer include the second seed. The Knicks magic number to clinch the No. 2 seed is one, so yeah, a Pacers win in MSG keeps hope alive, but winning has been a problem for Indiana of late.
After losing three of their last four games, the Pacers remain in need of another win to clinch three seed, forget the two. The Pacers may have to earn that three seed without starting point guard George Hill who desperately needs some rest for his ailing groin before the playoffs begin.
While Frank Vogel would like to lock up their playoff position before resting guys, he appears ready to keep Hill on ice until the playoffs start next weekend. The Knicks will be a problem with or without Hill especially since they've been playing so well lately and can give it once more push for a win against the Pacers and then, should they win, ease back for the final two games of the regular season.
Check out the links: