Published January 13, 2015
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers renew their postseason rivalry Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
The two teams battled through the early 1990s and the latter part of the decade. Big men like Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and the Davis' from Indiana highlighted these wars.
But, these squads are different in 2013.
The Pacers are pretty similar with a bruising frontline, but the Knicks are reliant on the jump shot.
Carmelo Anthony, who led the NBA in scoring during the regular season, and J.R. Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, dominate the Knicks' boxscore. Raymond Felton has enjoyed a great run in the postseason as well.
The Knicks were tested in the first round against the Boston Celtics. New York grabbed a 3-0 series lead, but Boston clawed back, including a Game 5 win in MSG.
In Game 6, the Knicks nearly blew a 26-point lead in the fourth quarter, but prevailed.
"They stood up and they made big plays they needed to make to get the win. It was a total team effort on our part," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
The Knicks earned their first series win since 2000. In that postseason, the Knicks advanced to the Conference Finals before losing to the Pacers in six games.
The Pacers, who finished second in the NBA in opponents' scoring, knocked off the Atlanta Hawks in six games. In their Game 6, the Pacers snapped a long losing streak in Atlanta, which stretched all the way back to 2006.
Indiana showed its defensive prowess in the final two games of the Atlanta series. They held the Hawks to an average of 82.0 ppg and moved on to the second round for the fourth time in the last 10 years.
As expected, the Pacers know what got them to this point.
"When we play our defense with the energy and passion that we showed in the last two games, we can be dominant on the defensive end," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "Not just good, but dominant."
Paul George has led a balanced Pacers attack at 18.7 ppg during the postseason. David West, Roy Hibbert and George Hill are all scoring in double figures during the playoffs.
The two teams split their regular-season matchups with the home team winning each time. The Pacers have dropped six of their last eight in Madison Square Garden.