The Knicks will begin a brief road trip with a matchup against the Pacers. They’ll look to get back in the “W” column and keep RJ Barrett’s hot streak going.

After a disappointing second-half performance in the New York Knicks’ (5-2) last outing, they look to bounce back tonight against the Indiana Pacers (2-6) at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indiana. The Pacers are coming into tonight’s tilt off a win against the Spurs on Monday. This will be the first meeting of this young season between these two teams.

The Pacers have gotten off to a slow start, and one of the main reasons for their struggles has been their inability to defend. They have given up an average of 113.3 points per game, which places them 27th in the NBA. This comes as a little bit of a surprise considering they have big man Myles Turner centering the defense. Turner is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end, averaging 2.9 blocks per game to start the season. This is no aberration for Turner either; since being selected 11th in the 2015 NBA Draft, he has consistently been one of the top shot-blockers in the game. He led the league in blocks last year with 3.4 per game.

The Knicks come into Wednesday’s matchup with the Pacers after a bit of a letdown loss against the Toronto Raptors on Monday. New York started off shooting hot and got out to an early 15-point lead. Julius Randle busted out of his minor scoring slump with 18 points in the first quarter, finishing with 22 for the game. They let off a little bit in the second half after leading 57-53 at halftime.

The offense looked a little more stagnant in the second half with Randle cooling down from his hot start. Although the loss was disappointing, there are some positives to take away from it. RJ Barrett had his second consecutive stellar game, posting 27 points while maintaining his elite level of defense to start the season. With his performance in the last two games, Barrett became the first Knick ever age 21 or younger to post at least 25 points while shooting 65% from the field in consecutive games.

The key in this game for the New York Knicks is for Barrett to continue on his hot streak against the Pacers.

Matchups

Tonight’s game will have many interesting matchups to keep an eye on, including Myles Turner going up against Mitchell Robinson in the interior and Kemba Walker going up against a bigger guard in Malcolm Brogdon.

The matchup to watch the closest tonight will be Julius Randle and Domantas Sabonis. They will be guarding each other and have a direct impact on each other’s performance. They are both the offensive initiators for their franchise and the main piece to their team’s offensive puzzle. Whoever is able to get the edge in this individual matchup will put their team in the best position to succeed tonight.

Injuries

Nerlens Noel (knee) and Taj Gibson (ankle) are questionable for tonight and will be game-time decisions.

Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) and Jeremy Lamb (ankle) are questionable for tonight and will be game-time decisions. Isaiah Jackson (knee) is out.

You can catch tonight’s game at 7:00 p.m. EST on MSG Network as well as NBA League Pass.

 

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