The Knicks need Carmelo at his best.
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers have been postseason rivals dating back to the 1990s when they met for many consecutive seasons. Indiana wrote the first chapter in this year’s book, taking down the Knicks in Madison Square Garden with a decisive win in Game 1.
David West and Roy Hibbert led the way for Indiana, taking advantage of New York in the paint all game. They also had a surprise performance off the bench in D.J. Augustin.
Augustin, who only averaged a little more than four points per game in the regular season, scored 16 points in the first game, shooting 4-of-5 from deep.
Since taking a 3-0 series lead against Boston in the first round, New York hasn’t looked good. They are relying too much on their star, Carmelo Anthony, who hasn’t played well in a few games.
Melo scored 27 points in Game 1, but only on 10-of-28 shooting from the field. The Knicks’ other key scorer, J.R. Smith, played just as bad, grabbing 17 points while going 4-of-15.
Game 2 will be extremely important for the Knicks to regain momentum and give themselves a chance in this series. I think both the team and leader Carmelo Anthony will get their act together to take what is basically a must-win game at home.
When rolling, the Knicks’ offense is very tough to beat. Despite being down in the series, Carmelo Anthony is impossible to stop when he’s playing well, and I think that will be just enough to get New York back to the conference finals.
Prediction: New York in seven