Pacers at Knicks Picks and NBA Game 2 Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/7/2013
I realize that the NBA MVP voting is tallied only on the regular season, but I'm wondering if that Boston Globe writer who was the only guy not to vote for LeBron James on a first-place ballot is questioning his decision after watching New York's Carmelo Anthony (the writer's MVP choice) the past few games.
Yes, Melo is dealing with a shoulder injury, but practically every player still going has some sort of injury right now -- ask the Chicago Bulls. Still, the NBA's scoring champion Anthony is going to have to be much better against Indiana for the Knicks to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was a pretty bad 10-for-28 from the field in the Knicks' 102-95 home loss to the Pacers in Game 1. It was his fourth straight game shooting worse than 36 percent from the field (he has missed 23 of his past 25 3-pointers also). The Boston Celtics weren't good enough to take advantage of Anthony's misses, but the Pacers definitely are. New York could really use Amare Stoudemire as a second offensive option, but he's not going to return before Game 3 at the earliest.
The Pacers can put a hammerlock on this series with another upset in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Pacers at Knicks Betting Story Lines
The Pacers definitely played the Knicks physically in Game 1, to the point that New York point guard Raymond Felton (who was the best Knick in the opener) thought Indiana was purposefully targeting Anthony's injured left shoulder. The Pacers probably are -- it's smart playoff basketball. Paul George was arguably the best player on the floor in the opener. The NBA's Most Improved Player had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists but really made his mark on defense. Anthony and J.R. Smith went a combined 5-for-24 when defended by George. They were 9-for-19 against other guys.
Look for Knicks coach Mike Woodson to use his big lineup of Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin together on the floor at the same time, which shifts Anthony to small forward. The Pacers dominated New York on the boards in Game 1, 44-30. Even Indiana GM Donnie Walsh admitted his team's "bigness" was the difference (Indiana also outscored New York 46-32 in the paint). The Pacers outrebounded the Hawks by a playoff-high 11 rebounds per game in their first-round win. What has gotten into Lance Stephenson? The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 3.9 rebounds in the regular season but had a career-high 13 in Game 1, his third straight game with double-digit boards.
History says the Knicks already are toast in the series -- they are +135 on WagerWeb with the Pacers at -155. New York is 0-5 all-time in playoff series after losing Game 1 at home. It's their first Game 1 home playoff loss since the memorable Reggie Miller eight-point explosion in the final seconds of the 1995 East semifinals. Oddly, Indiana has lost its past three playoff series in which it has won Game 1 on the road.
The one injury of note other than Stoudemire revolves around Knicks reserve guard Steve Novak. The three-point specialist has missed the past two games with back spasms but could play Tuesday. It's more likely he's back for Game 3 as well.
Pacers at Knicks NBA Game 2 Betting Odds and Key Trends
At WagerWeb, the Knicks are six-point favorites with the total at 183. Indiana was 20-20 ATS on the road during the regular season and 18-22 “over/under”. In the playoffs, the Pacers are 2-2 ATS on the road and 2-2 O/U. The Knicks were 25-16 ATS at home during the year and 20-21 O/U. They are 1-3 ATS at home in the playoffs and 1-3 O/U.
Indiana is 5-1 ATS in its past six Tuesday games. The Knicks are 6-1 ATS in their past seven games after an ATS loss. They are 5-1 ATS in their past six after a loss. The over is 11-3 in Indiana's past 14 playing on one day of rest. The under is 6-0 in the Knicks' past six after a loss. The Pacers have covered nine of their past 13 in New York.
Pacers at Knicks Picks and Betting Predictions
New York won't beat the Pacers unless Tyson Chandler shows up. He was dominated by Roy Hibbert and held to four points and three rebounds while fouling out in 28 minutes. I mean, Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough(!!) was more effective than Chandler. Hansbrough was a great college player, but he shouldn't be outplaying Tyson Chandler.
I don't think if you are a Pacers fan that you can count on reserve guard D.J. Augustin outplaying NBA Sixth Man of the Year Smith again. Augustin had 16 points (averaged 4.7 during season) on 5-for-6 from the field. Smith had 17 but was just 4-for-15 from the field. His shooting has been off since missing Game 4 of the Celtics series due to suspension.
I expect a much better effort from New York as it's almost a must-win, but I still think six points is too many. Take the Pacers and the under.
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