NBA Playoff Predictions 2013: Why the Knicks Still Have a Fighting Chance

Matthew Wolfe@@DatDudeMKWCorrespondent IIIMay 15, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 6:   J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks plays against the Indiana Pacers during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New York Knicks packed their bags and headed to Indianapolis after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals feeling confident and rejuvenated.  

They had just tied the series at 1-1 after winning in blowout fashion at The Garden, and things were looking up as they went to Indiana for two straight games.

After getting roughed up in Games 3 and 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the confidence and swagger that the Knicks possessed in Game 2 seems just about nonexistent.

The Knicks shot just 35 percent from the field in both Games 3 and 4, and below 30 percent from three-point range.  It is no secret to any Knicks fan, or any basketball fan for that matter, that the Knicks do not succeed if they are not shooting the ball well.

They live and die by the three-point ball, and 27 percent and 28 percent as a team just won't cut it against a defensively efficient Indiana squad.

Mike Woodson's team has had to deal with plenty of distractions outside of the gym, mainly the harsh New York media who's job it is to scrutinize every move the team makes.

The Knicks now find themselves with their backs against the wall, facing elimination as they head home for Game 5 on Thursday.

Despite their horrific performances in back-to-back games in Indiana, there is still hope for the New York Knicks, although many people are counting them out.

The Knicks will look to accomplish what the Boston Celtics were able to do to them in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, and that is to gain momentum.

The series is headed back to Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks went 31-10 this season.

If they can find a way to break out of their abominable shooting slump and defeat the Indiana Pacers on their home floor, it is a whole new series.

The Knicks saw Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith combine for 36 points in Game 3, and shoot a combined 37 percent from the field in Game 4.

These are some of the worst numbers that these three have put up all season, and if even just one of them can find a way to break out of his slump, the Knicks have a fighting chance.

Yes, they would still need to win two games in a row, one of them being on the road in Indiana where they haven't won a playoff game since 1999.

But a win in Game 5 can change the entire momentum of a series, and the Knicks witnessed that first hand against the Celtics.

The Celtics were unsuccessful in their comeback attempt against the Knicks, but after winning two straight games, things began to change.

The players, the fans and the media all began to change their outlook on the series, and if the Knicks can pull off a win in Indiana in Game 6, they become the favorites again as they head home for Game 7.

Of course there are a lot of things that need to go in the Knicks favor for them to win this series, and it may seem very unlikely after their performance in the past two games, but one great game can change a series and everybody knows the Knicks are capable of winning in blowout fashion.

The New York Knicks are down 3-1 and appear as if they are out for the count, but don't be surprised if you see them roaring back to make this a series to remember.