Knicks Square Off Against Pacers in Sunday Night Matchup
1. The Knicks recovered quickly from a lopsided defeat to the Rockets on Wednesday night by cruising to a win over the Suns on Friday. New York set the tone from the tip and held Phoenix to just 19 first quarter points. The lead for the home team reached 21 points in the eventual 120-107 home win to push its overall record to 4-4 on the season. The Knicks connected on 51.7 percent of their shots from the floor, nailed eight 3-pointers, and dominated the box with a remarkable 62 points in the paint.
2. New York is 4-1 over its last five outings. Head coach Jeff Hornacek placed Jarrett Jack in the starting lineup prior to the win against Brooklyn and the Knicks have responded with impressive performances. During this stretch, New York is averaging 110.8 points and 24.0 assists per game. On the other side of the floor, the Knicks are holding opponents to just 40.3 percent shooting.
3. Second chance points are a key statistic to examine in Sunday’s matchup between New York and Indiana. The Knicks are the No. 1 team in second chance points and the Pacers rank No. 7. Due to the work of New York’s big men in the paint, the orange and blue generate 17.4 second chance points while also ranking No. 4 in the league in offensive rebounds.
4. Tonight features an intriguing head-to-head matchup between two of the brightest young stars in the league. Kristaps Porzingis (did not practice Saturday but expected to play) is off to an incredible start to the season as he has racked up six games of 30-plus points in the first eight contests. He’s averaging 29 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 32.9 minutes of court time. On the other side of the floor is Myles Turner. The Pacers big man returned to action on Friday after missing the past seven games while dealing with a concussion. On Friday, Turner recorded 11 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and one steal in 24 minutes. Turner shot 51.1 percent from the floor and averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks during the 2016-17 season.
5. Indiana enters Sunday’s game with a 5-4 mark after suffering a 121-110 defeat to Philadelphia on Friday. Prior to the loss, Indiana won three straight games with wins over San Antonio, Sacramento, and Cleveland. This past summer, the Pacers traded All-Star Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Through nine games, Oladipo leads the team in points per game at 24.6 and Sabonis is the Pacers leading rebounder with 10.6 boards per game.