Knicks looking to put loss behind them with tide-turning matchup on the horizon

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks
Jan 6, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) controls the ball as Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) tries to defend during the fourth quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks (22-19) are gearing up for a home matchup against the Indiana Pacers (23-18) on Wednesday night as they look to get back in the win column after a heartbreaking loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

The Knicks and Pacers will be playing their second matchup of the season. Their previous meeting was back on December 18, when the Knicks won on the road 109-106. Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle combined for 79 points and five three-pointers in that late December victory, which also gave them their seventh consecutive win at the time.

The Knicks will be looking to bounce back after tough loss:

After leading by 17 late in the third quarter to the Bucks on Monday, the Knicks struggled defensively in the final minutes and blew their large lead to eventually lose the game 111-107 despite Jalen Brunson scoring a career-high 44 points.

The loss snapped New York’s four-game winning streak and dropped them to 10-11 at home, which is the sixth-worst home record out of every team in the NBA this season.

They will now look to bounce back against a surprising Pacers team that has won eight of their last ten and is entering the contest at 23-18 while holding the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pacers are coming off of a 116-111 victory over the lowly Charlotte Hornets, a game in which Myles Turner scored 29 points and recorded four blocks. Potential All-Star Tyrese Haliburton recorded a double-double in the victory, notching 16 points and dishing 13 assists.

The key for the Knicks to get back on the right track will be to stop Haliburton and Turner from heating up. Having Immanuel Quickley take Haliburton for defense would be the smart move to prevent him from lighting things up from deep as well as score inside.

The Knicks will also need to try to get around Turner when on offense, as with him being one of the prestige shot blockers in the NBA, New York may need to focus their offense more on shooting and perimeter scoring for Wednesday’s game.

A win for the Knicks would put them in a tie with Indiana for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. This would be a nice start to a stretch that sees a lot of favorable matchups upcoming for the Knicks.

Looking at injuries, Knicks’ RJ Barrett (finger) has been upgraded to questionable. For the Pacers, TJ McConnell and Aaron Nesmith are game-time decisions while Daniel Theis is out.

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