Pacers vs. Knicks Game 1 NBA Best Bet: Don’t Overlook Indiana’s Matchup Advantages

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The best sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 1 between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks.

For your best bet, I will recommend investing in the Pacers for this matchup. For more top picks for the NBA Playoffs, visit our YouTube channel, including the Timberwolves vs. Nuggets matchup.

For additional NBA best bets from our experts:

NBA Pick: Pacers +6 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Pacers +6 (-108)
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Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks

Monday, May 06, 2024 – 07:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden

Don’t Discount The Pacers 

Everybody is down on the Pacers because they required six games to oust a Milwaukee team that was missing its best player and often its second-best player.

But the Pacers regularly play to their level of competition, as evident when they struggled against the Spurs and Hornets in the regular season.

Given this tendency, we rarely got to see the best that Indiana had to offer.

Philadelphia Was Easier 

Conversely, New York struggled with a 76ers team that, in key respects, was an easier opponent for it to face than the Pacers will be.

Philadelphia naturally plays slower because it organizes its offense around post-ups from Joel Embiid.

The 76ers’ slowness enabled New York, which likes to utilize a short rotation, to remain rested.

Indiana’s Pace 

A crucial factor in this game will be that Indiana has the style of play to punish a Knicks team for lacking depth.

The Pacers love to push the tempo, which will be bad news for a New York team that wants to play slow and that needs to play slow in order not to need to lengthen its rotation.

Now, Indiana will push the tempo off made baskets as well as missed baskets, so the counterpoint that New York’s dominance on the glass should limit Indiana’s ability to push the tempo isn’t exactly valid.

The notion that the Knicks will dominate on the glass is anyhow overstated, as based on the statistics we’re talking about a difference of fewer than three offensive rebounds per game.

But let’s talk about a significant reason why the Knicks are often able to own the offensive glass.

Teams like to commit multiple defenders to Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson. In doing so, they diminish their ability to block out. 

Andrew Nembhard’s Defense 

The Pacers can block out effectively tonight because they won’t have to send multiple defenders to Brunson.

They can rely on a few different on-ball defenders who will give Brunson different looks, with Aaron Nesmith with his length being an important defender, although the most important one is Andrew Nembhard.

Nembhard did an excellent job in the Milwaukee series, limiting the efficiency of Milwaukee’s own star point guard, Damian Lillard.

The Pacers hounded Lillard, especially in Game 6 on every inch of the floor, which is something that they can due to also wear down Brunson and further punish New York’s lack of depth.

In the regular season, the Pacers had a lot of success against teams like Dallas and Oklahoma City which have one player in particular with a high usage rate. 

This is something that will carry over to the postseason. Having guys like Nembhard will help by providing good on-ball defense while allowing teammates to remain locked into Brunson’s teammates.

Indiana’s Three-Pointers

In the regular season, the Pacers flexed their comfort with making three-pointers in the Knicks’ venue. Indiana has one of the better three-point shooting groups already.

The Pacers will take advantage of a Knicks defense that, in the first round of these playoffs, allowed the third-highest rate of open three-point attempts and the fourth-highest rate of wide-open ones.

Center Myles Turner is key. He shot 43.9 percent from behind the arc in the first series

He’ll exploit a Knicks defense that will struggle to have its bigs guard the perimeter, with Philadelphia’s own more post-up-oriented center having some decisive success from behind the arc against the Knicks that also made scoring inside all the easier by stretching out the defense.

The Pacers’ depth is evident in their ability to bring multiple guys off the bench who, like Turner, are efficient from deep.

The Pick

Tyrese Haliburton’s role as a facilitator will help Turner and others get open.

While OG Anunoby is well-known as a solid defender, he can’t guard Haliburton and Pascal Siakam at the same time.

NBA Pick: Pacers +6 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Pacers +6 (-108)
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