The Phil Jackson era begins on Wednesday when the Knicks host rival Indiana Pacers at the Madison Square Garden. Will Carmelo Anthony impress their new boss? Or will the Paul George and company spoil the party in the Big Apple?
The Zen Master was introduced as the team’s president of basketball operations on Tuesday although rumours of the hiring were already ripe weeks before the official announcement.
Jackson’s timing of joining NY coincides with the team’s longest winning streak of the season— a six-game run over teams which are currently out of the playoff picture (Minnesota, Utah, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston and Milwaukee).
A seventh straight victory would offer a tougher test as the Pacers remain as one of the title contenders this season.
After losing four straight from March 4 to March 9, Indiana has recovered nicely with a four-game winning streak of its own. Although, like the Knicks, the wins came against the ran-on teams Boston, Philadelphia (twice) and Detroit
Both squads will take any form and quality of victory however. The Knicks (27-40) want to gain ground on the Atlanta Hawks (31-35), which currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference.
Meanwhile, the Pacers (50-17) are three games ahead of the Miami Heat (46-19) in the battle for the top spot in the East.
Watch the Pacers-Knicks game via NBA League Pass.
Betting Lines: Indiana Pacers (-2) vs. New York Knicks (O/U: 193.0) Game time: 11:00 am AEDT
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Indiana Pacers Trends - The Pacers are 6-20-1 ATS in their last 27 games - The Pacers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Knicks in New York - The Pacers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games on the road - The Pacers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. the Knicks - The Pacers are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games vs. East teams
New York Knicks Trends - The Knicks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games - The Knicks are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games vs. the Pacers - The Knicks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games vs. East teams - The Knicks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a win - The Knicks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in New York