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News » Knicks-Pacers Preview 2009-11-18


Knicks-Pacers Preview 2009-11-18


Knicks-Pacers Preview 2009-11-18The Indiana Pacers haven't won six consecutive games in more than four years. A visit from the last-place New York Knicks could be just what they need accomplish the feat again.

The surging Pacers look to continue their strong run Wednesday night when they face the Knicks, losers of six in a row.

Indiana (5-3) has failed to reach the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, and an 0-3 start to 2009-10 appeared to signal not much had changed.

The Pacers, though, have reeled since off five consecutive wins, starting with a 101-89 victory at New York (1-9) on Nov. 4. They haven't won six in a row since March 28-April 8, 2005, en route to reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals where they fell to eventual conference champion Detroit.

Indiana took advantage of another hapless Atlantic Division club Tuesday, winning 91-83 at New Jersey to drop the Nets to 0-11.

"After the losses it seems like it's the end of the world, especially when you start 0-3," said Pacers forward Danny Granger, who had 22 points and seven rebounds. "But we stayed with it, got our first win in New York and we haven't looked back since."

Granger is averaging 25.0 points and 8.0 rebounds during the winning streak. He leads Indiana with 24.5 points per game.

Granger's has stepped up while forward-center Troy Murphy (back) and swingman Mike Dunleavy Jr. (knee and hip) are sidelined with injuries. Murphy has missed the last five games while Dunleavy hasn't played this season.

Roy Hibbert has assumed a larger role with Murphy out, averaging 14.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over the last six games. The center had 15 points and a career-high 14 boards against the Knicks on Nov. 4.

The Pacers have won six of the last eight meetings with the Knicks, who are off to the worst 10-game start in their history.

They lost for the sixth time in a row Friday, falling 121-107 to Golden State.

The dreadful start now has New York entertaining the idea of acquiring Allen Iverson off waivers after passing on a chance to sign him last summer.

Iverson, the 2001 league MVP and 10-time All-Star, was released by Memphis on Tuesday after he voiced his displeasure with his role in three games as a reserve.

"We had our little group from last year we wanted to keep together and that was the decision in the summertime, not to disrupt what we had," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Now, basketball's fluid and things change every second."

D'Antoni and the Knicks are also focused on next summer's free agents, which will include a number of high profile players. Acquiring Iverson would only mean a commitment for this season.

"I don't think we've changed our philosophy in that we want to be competitive now," D'Antoni said. "We want to do everything we can to win right now, within the framework of keeping 2010 open like we talked about."

The Knicks haven't been very competitive of late, averaging 94.7 points over the last six games after scoring 109.3 during the previous four. They're also 0-3 on the road, where they're getting outscored by an average of 13.0 points.

Al Harrington has been one of the few bright spots for New York, leading the team with 18.9 points per game. He had 22 in the last matchup with Indiana.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 18, 2009

 

 
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