canada africa partner reservation Knicks set for second round vs. Pacers in new-age game – Indianapolis News | Weather Indiana | Indiana traffic

Knicks set for second round vs. Pacers in new-age game – Indianapolis News | Weather Indiana | Indiana traffic


NEW YORK (AP) — When the New York Knicks made their annual playoff run, they almost always ran into the Indiana Pacers.

As the teams look to renew their playoff rivalry Monday in the Eastern Conference semifinals, it’s easy to think back to those rough and tumble battles of the 1990s. But while the matchup may be old-fashioned, Jalen Brunson and the Knicks are bracing themselves for an opponent that plays a new-age style.

Tyrese Haliburton runs the NBA’s highest-scoring offense, with Indiana putting up numbers on the scoreboard that make those of recent Knicks-Pacers games look like another sport, not just another century.

“I think when you have the original teams from back then, there’s always going to be some kind of history,” Brunson said. “But you have two good teams that play very, I don’t want to put it differently, but they play their own style of basketball. And so it’s going to be a matter of who’s going to go out, who wants it more, who’s going to try to get it.

Brunson led the No. 2 seed Knicks past Philadelphia in the first round, sending the Knicks to the East semifinals in consecutive seasons for the first time in nine consecutive trips between 1992 and 2000.

He scored 40 or more points in the last three games, just the seventh player in NBA history with three straight 40-point games in the playoffs. The league’s No. 4 scorer in the regular season tops all players in the postseason with 35.5 per game.

Indiana’s big numbers come as a team. The Pacers led the league with 123.3 points per game, sixth-highest in league history, and also ranked tops in field goal percentage and assists. They reached 140 points eleven times, an NBA record.

The sixth-seeded Pacers haven’t slowed much in the playoffs. They averaged 113 while beating No. 3 Milwaukee and reached at least 120 in all four wins during the six-game series.

The Knicks and Pacers met three straight times between 1993 and 1995 – trading Game 7 wins in the last two – and then again from 1998 to 2000, the last two coming in the Eastern Conference finals. Indiana won the most recent meeting, ousting the No. 2 seed Knicks in the 2013 East semifinals.

Neither team ever reached 120 points in any of the 41 games.

“It’s just a very intense game, that’s the simple truth really,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s been a lot of stuff with Reggie Miller over five or six years and I know there was another match in 2013. We will have to be very resilient and very together.”


Indiana beat New York 2-1 and tied its season average with 123.3 points per game, including 140 in a Dec. 30 win when the Knicks found themselves short-handed after a trade. Brunson averaged 35.7 points.


The point guards were American teammates who played in the Basketball World Cup last summer and then had their best NBA seasons. Both were All-Stars, with Haliburton the Eastern Conference starter in his home arena en route to leading the league with 10.9 assists per game.


Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby were Toronto’s starters to start the season before the forwards were traded, with Anunoby going to the Knicks in December and Siakam to Indiana in January. The Knicks are 24-5 with Anunoby in the lineup and may now need him to defend his former teammate, who opened the playoffs with consecutive games of at least 35 points and 10 rebounds.


Brunson started his career in Dallas playing for Carlisle, who praised his former player’s character and said they had three great years together. Brunson was asked if he had extra motivation after an ESPN podcast referenced his frustration at getting just 10 minutes of playing time in a Game 7 loss to the Clippers in 2021.

“Honestly, I said the last time now you’re in the playoffs, there’s no extra motivation,” Brunson said. “It is what it is, the past is the past. Rick, he welcomed me into this league and he helped me become the player and he helped me grow from day one. A coach must therefore make decisions that suit his team. So whatever happened, it happened and we’ll move on from there.”


Obi Toppin was the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2020 and became a fan favorite, though he rarely got extended playing time behind All-Star Julius Randle. He scored a career playoff-high 21 points off the bench in the win over Milwaukee and now returns to his original NBA home.

“They are one of the most physical teams in the league,” Toppin said. “They’ve had that identity for many years and we have to come in there and match that physicality and play our style of basketball, and I think we’ll be good at that.”


All tenses are oriental.

• Game 1: Pacers at Knicks, Monday 7:30 PM.
• Game 2: Pacers at Knicks, Wednesday, 8 p.m.
• Game 3: Knicks at Pacers, Friday, 7 p.m.
• Game 4: Knicks at Pacers, Sunday, 3:30 p.m.
• Game 5, if necessary: Pacers at Knicks, May 14.
• Game 6If necessary: Knicks at Pacers, May 17.
• Game 7If necessary: Pacers at Knicks, May 19.

AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis and News 8 contributed to this report.