The Indiana Pacers lead the New York Knicks 2-1 heading into a pivotal Game 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night, but that doesn't mean they are playing with house money. Momentum in the series only lasts between the final buzzer from the last game and the opening tip of the next game.
The Pacers mission tonight is to win in order to maintain home court advantage and heap more pressure on the Knicks when the series moves back to Madison Square Garden. A loss throws that pressure back on the Pacers. Now the Pacers usually handle the "oh no" pressure pretty well, but we're talking about grinding through at least two more games. While the Pacers themselves can't look ahead, and if the Pacers want to give Miami their best shot in the ECF, then continuing to defend their home court and taking care of business quickly will go a long way.
Of course, Carmelo Anthony can lay waste to the best laid plans with a scoring effort to help lift the Knicks' spirits and give his whole team a boost. The Knicks had the one avalanche quarter in this series when everything started falling but neither team has had a game like that in the first three. Game 4 may be that game.
So who do you think could be the X-factor at the Fieldhouse to get the Pacers offense going?
For more on the Knicks, check out Posting and Toasting. Also, leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.