It’s a clash of styles as the Indiana Pacers play the fastest pace in the league, while the New York Knicks run the slowest. Who will control the pace?

Catch the game tomorrow at 7:30 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Indiana Pacers (0-0)

Projected starting five:

  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Andrew Nembhard
  • Aaron Nesmith
  • Pascal Siakam
  • Myles Turner

The Pacers won the season series with the Knicks, 2-1, and were able to flaunt their top-ranking, high-powered offense in those matchups, averaging 123.5 points per game with a +8.0 point differential.

As always, All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton will continue running the show. He posted a double-double of 19.7 points and 13.3 assists in three games vs. NYK this season, alongside a surprising 1.3 blocks. Mid-season acquisition Pascal Siakam was in two of those contests and put up a fairly scattered 18.5 PPG,  6.5 RPG, and 4.0 APG per game. He’s in an interesting matchup as he’ll face former Toronto Raptors teammate OG Anunoby. Stretch five Myles Turner had 18.7 PPG on the Knicks, and we should see him swat and swish shots. Aaron Nesmith (18.3 PPG) had identical numbers, so he too could possibly tear it up.

HIgh-energy guards TJ McConnell and Andrew Nembhard both played a key role in the first round vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. They may be used similarly in this semifinals series, perhaps as tools to keep pushing the pace on a Knick squad that likes to keep it slower than most.


HOME: New York Knicks (0-0)

Projected starting five:

  • Jalen Brunson
  • Donte DiVincenzo
  • Josh Hart
  • OG Anunoby
  • Mitchell Robinson

Though the Knicks are missing Julius Randle and Bojan Bogdanovic (both out for the season), and also dropped the season series against the Pacers, they have better momentum coming into this playoff matchup, as well as homecourt advantage.

All-Star Jalen Brunson’s star is shining brighter than ever following an exceptional performance vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, where he unleashed three consecutive 40-point performances, en route to helping the Knicks advance. He is averaging 35.3 PPG in the 2024 playoffs and averaged 35.7 PPG in the season series with Indiana. He should be able to maintain those numbers, especially if they decide to stay with Indy’s pace.

Production-wise, moving past Brunson will remain as a crapshoot (in a fun way, though). The second scorer role likely revolve between Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, and Deuce McBride. All are good energy guys so they may thrive with all the running that the Pacers will try to employ. Big men Mitchell Robinson and Isiah Hartenstein, meanwhile, are hopeful to contain and counter Myles Turner. They did a decent job on Joel Embiid, so they’ll carry their rhythm off of that.

The Knicks are number one in offensive rebounding, and if they boast that, they’ll have a good chance of neutralizing the Pacers’ attack.


Spread: Pacers (+6)

Over/Under: Over (217)