Studs and Duds: Knicks drop Game 6, headed to Game 7 against Indiana Pacers

NBA: Playoffs-New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference SemiFinals are headed to the “city so nice they named it twice” as the New York Knicks failed to close the series in Game 6. The Indiana Pacers are winners of 11 straight home games, and the Knicks have found themselves in a possible upset scenario with the suspected injury to Josh Hart. The motto has been ‘Next Man Up’ all season, but how much more do the Knicks have to get the job done?

Through countless obstacles, the Knicks still make no excuses for their lack of execution down the stretch, the added element of a Game 7 raises both uncertainty and unpreparedness once they advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Studs: Miles McBride All-Elite

May 14, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) reacts after a basket during the first half during game five of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) reacts after a basket during the first half during game five of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Setting the tone and bringing unbridled confidence to Game 6, Miles McBride has been a highlight during a tumultuous 2024 for the New York Knicks. McBride scored 20 points on an efficient 66% from the field while knocking down four threes from beyond the arc.

The majority of McBride’s scoring came in the first quarter, saw him score 11 points and bring a variety to the Knicks that Indiana had no answer for out the gate. Regardless of the loss, New York may have found an approach going forward to mix up schemes and get McBride going early, as he’s not a player most teams will game-plan for. McBride’s averaging 17.6 points per game in his last three outings.

Studs: Donte DiVincenzo stays consistent in this series 

May 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) defends during game six of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) defends during game six of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Donte DiVincenzo, averaging 20 points per game this series, started Game 6 on a heater with Miles McBride. Scoring ten points in the opening quarter, and having DiVincenzo execute on offense early has rewarded the Knicks all season. The consistency from DiVincenzo this round of the playoffs will become crucial for the next round. A Boston team with a historically high-octane offense will need all the combatants when they meet New York in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Duds/Takeaways from the Knicks’: Put your money where your mouth is 

The New York Knicks followed Game 5’s victory by patronizing the Indiana Pacers and their lack of ‘toughness’ then proceeded to get outworked en route to a Game 6 loss. As a Pacers fan, one couldn’t script it any better, but from the other end, losing in such a fashion can be viewed as a demoralizing loss.

The momentum in this series is on the Pacer’s side, and injuries have hampered the New York Knicks heavily. Any poking or prodding at an opponent out of malice when your team is limping to the finish line is malpractice. The arrogance of the New York Knicks to talk like the better team but now be in a ‘do or die’ Game 7 upset scenario is remarkable. The New York Knicks are expected to win at home in Game 7, but given how the series has unfolded and the Knicks rotation has been derailed, the Knicks’ monumental season could be over on Sunday night.

Looking ahead, the Boston Celtics await the winner of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. It has been reported that Kristaps Porzingis will miss games 1 and 2 possibly as he recovers from injury. The Boston Celtics are still a machine, but winning the rebound battle has been the saving grace for New York all season.

Establishing a game plan to take away one of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, or Derrick White will be the difference maker In a matchup against the Celtics, as the Knicks don’t have the offensive firepower to go blow for blow against Boston. 

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