New York Knicks Playoff Schedule: TV Info and Predictions for Second Round

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New York Knicks Playoff Schedule: TV Info and Predictions for Second Round
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Last Friday, the No. 2-seeded New York Knicks finally dispatched their pesky Atlantic Division rivals and buried the No. 7 Boston Celtics a game later than they expected to.

Now that the first-round series is in the rearview, it’s time to look ahead to the next one, which will be against the No. 3 Indiana Pacers for the rights to advance to the conference finals.

It should be quite an intriguing matchup, as the Pacers pose a much different challenge for coach Mike Woodson to match up with strategically.

Fortunately, the Knicks have been nothing but adaptable this season and continue to prove the doubters wrong. Let’s see if they have what it takes to dispatch Indiana.

 

Second-Round Schedule (via ESPN)

Game

When

Where

Watch

1

Sunday, May 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

ABC

2

Tuesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

TNT

3

Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

ABC

4

TBD

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

N/A

5*

TBD

Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

N/A

6*

TBD

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

N/A

7*

TBD

Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

N/A

 

Regular-Season Record and Leaders

Record: 54-28

Points Leader: Carmelo Anthony (28.7 PPG)

Rebounds Leader: Tyson Chandler (10.7 RPG)

Assists Leader: Raymond Felton (5.5 APG)

 

Knicks Playoff Breakdown

Biggest Strength: Defense

In each of the Knicks' wins over the Boston Celtics in Round 1, great defense from start to finish was the difference-maker for New York.

Everyone was involved, including a superstar not known for his efforts on D in Carmelo Anthony, an elite perimeter defender who showed he was finally healthy in Iman Shumpert, and a rapidly recuperating big man who anchors this team’s efforts in Tyson Chandler.

Even with injuries to instrumental players, such as Amar’e Stoudemire, and other shortcomings—especially on offense—the Knicks were able to persevere on the back of their tremendous defensive efforts.

New York held the Celtics to an average of just 76.25 points in its four victories (compared to 94.5 in two losses), proving that defense is the way that coach Mike Woodson will ask his team to win in the postseason.

 

Biggest Weakness: Lack of Bigs

It wasn’t evident against the Celtics, but the Knicks currently have a lack of serviceable, productive, healthy big men to employ against a giant Pacers front line.

Kenyon Martin—picked up in February—and Chandler were the only two bigs (with the exception of Anthony) to get regular minutes in the rotation, although Marcus Camby saw a few token seconds, and Chris Copeland, capable of playing big, has also been on the floor for a total of 24 minutes in the playoffs so far.

Fortunately, the C’s weren’t able to take advantage, as they were only able to employ Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass in the low post, using a combination of guards to soak minutes off the bench and play small ball.

It’s going to be tougher for New York to disguise its lack of power forwards and centers in the conference semifinals, as David West, Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph and Ian Mahinmi all see solid minutes and are capable of defending well.

 

Key Player: Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks are going to need incredible production out of ‘Melo in this series, especially if he’s going to line up and receive significant minutes at the 4, as expected.

The superstar forward is averaging 29.2 points on 38.1 percent field-goal shooting and 26.5 percent on his attempts from beyond the arc. He’s also grabbing 5.3 rebounds and dishing out 1.8 assists per game.

Those shooting figures aren’t awful, as the Celtics decided to focus most of their efforts on shutting down the 10-year veteran. However, his reduced rebounding and assist numbers, compared with his regular-season output, is concerning.

Melo wasn’t always making the extra pass or being aggressive on the boards, which are two things he must do against Indiana. The Pacers defense is too good and their frontcourt too long for Anthony not to contribute in those areas of the game and still expect the Knicks to win.

 

Key Matchup: Tyson Chandler vs. Roy Hibbert

While Paul George is a major threat to score, the 7’2", 280-pound Hibbert will strike fear in the heart of Knicks fans in this series.

The big man is an extremely capable scorer in the low post and is able to light it up when he’s feeling aggressive. He put up a respectable 14.7 points on 47.8 shooting in Round 1 against the Atlanta Hawks but has to improve upon those figures if the Pacers are to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

That certainly won’t be easy with Tyson Chandler manning the middle, as the veteran, 7’1” center gives up a bit in weight at 240 pounds but more than makes up for it in athleticism.

Chandler should be able to best Hibbert in all areas besides scoring, but it will be pertinent that the Knicks big man at least limits his opponent in that department.

 

Prediction

Take the New York Knicks to eliminate the Indiana Pacers in six games.

Which team will win?

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This is a proud team that finally has a taste of postseason success and is going to want more.

The Knicks will have a tough time winning at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but they are going to protect home court and eventually take Game 6 on the road—much as they did in the Boston series—to close it out.

It should be an exciting series, but the Knicks are better from top to bottom and will advance to the conference finals.

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