Back in 2nd round, Knicks face old rival in Pacers

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm •  Published: May 4, 2013
Advertisement
;

NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony likes Eastern Conference playoff basketball, even the pounding and pain that goes with it.

The wide-open West was fun, with more scoring and less defense, and it certainly didn't hurt as much. But coming off his first series victory since leaving Denver — and his team's first in 13 years — he has adapted to the way it is on the other side.

And here comes a team that represents it as well as anyone.

The Indiana Pacers are rough and tough, but the New York Knicks say they're ready for it when the teams renew an old postseason rivalry Sunday to begin the second round.

"It's definitely going to be a challenge," Knicks center Tyson Chandler said. "We know we're going to be in for a battle. We've got to be prepared physically to match their play, keep them off the glass, limit them to one shot and then run."

The Knicks wrapped up their first series victory since 2000 on Friday night by holding off the Boston Celtics in Game 6. They had just one day to rest before facing the Pacers, who were also pushed to six games before finishing off Atlanta on Friday night.

Anthony is battling a sore left shoulder, an injury originally sustained when he was whacked in a victory over the Pacers on April 14. That might have contributed to his 38 percent shooting against Boston, but he's making no excuses as he gets set to match up against another bigger forward in David West.

"I ain't dead. I'm here. I'll be ready to rock at 3:30," Anthony said.

Back when second-round appearances were the norm in New York, the Pacers were a regular rival in the spring. The Knicks and Pacers met in three straight years from 1993-95, then again from 1998-00.

The occasional Reggie Miller outburst notwithstanding, those series were usually about low scores and hard fouls, much like this one probably will be. Anthony was used to games in the 90s and 100s in the West, but knows Indiana will prefer to keep this in the 80s or even 70s.

"They're the best 3-point shooting team in history. They made more 3s this year than any other team in NBA history. So we understand what they're capable," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We led the league in guarding the 3 this year. We have a great deal of confidence that we can guard them if we execute our defense the way we're supposed to."

The Pacers held the Knicks to just 37 percent shooting while splitting the four-game season series, including a 125-91 victory in February that was New York's worst loss of the season. Anthony was 4 of 17 from 3-point range and the Knicks had ugly numbers all over their roster, from Jason Kidd (3 of 20) to Iman Shumpert (4 of 15) to Pablo Prigioni (2 of 10). Amare Stoudemire shot 5 of 16 and Steve Novak was 9 of 28.

Stoudemire, still recovering from knee surgery, will practice during the lengthy break between Game 2 on Tuesday and Game 3, with the hope of returning Saturday at Indiana. Novak is still battling back spasms and is expected to sit out the opener.



Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Best cities to launch a startup
  2. 2
    Drought-stricken California may restrict outdoor water use
  3. 3
    Eva Mendes, Ryan Gosling pregnancy sparks Twitter shock from fans - NY Daily News
  4. 4
    Advocates for blind, deaf want more from Apple
  5. 5
    World Cup Fan Scores Modeling Gig From Cheering
+ show more