Knicks vs. Pacers Game 7 Preview: How, Who to Watch

The Eastern Conference Semifinals come down to a winner-take-all match between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden.
May 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) catches the ball
May 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) catches the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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All the dreary seasons, all the failed trades, all the snubs, and, of course, all the injuries have led to this for the New York Knicks.

The Knicks' first visit to the Eastern Conference Finals will require just a little more effort, as the team will engage in its first Game 7 since 2000. They'll also hope to wet their conferenc final drought as well but the equally bereft Indiana Pacers stand in their way at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.

This marks the Knicks' first Game 7 showing in 24 years, a win over the Miami Heat in the conference semifinals that ironically set up a bout with the Pacers. True to form, the Knicks are dealing with medical woes entering this game, especially after Friday's defeat in Game 6 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse: Josh Hart was forced to leave the game due to abdominal soreness that rendered him questionable for the conclusion. He joins OG Anunoby, likewise questionable, who is said to be making an attempt to partake in Sunday's game after missing the last four due to hamstring woes.

Sunday marks the second Game 7 between the Pacers and Knicks, as they split such a pair in 1994-95. The winner of Sunday's game has a best-of-seven date with the Boston Celtics beginning on Tuesday night.

What: Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks, Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7 (Series tied 3-3)

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

When/Watch: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Who's Favored: NYK -3.5

May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) shoots the ball
May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) shoots the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Keep An Eye On: Jalen Brunson

This is why the Knicks signed Brunson. Hobbled as he may be ... even if he insists he is healthy ... Brunson is well-used to leading a shorthanded team at this point in time and he has done so on several occasions. His efforts, in fact, might well be why the Knicks had the breathing room and margin for error that kept this series alive. Brunson got off to a brutal start in Game 6 (missing his final 11 attempts of the first half) but managed to post a solid second that kept the Knicks at least somewhat afloat while they worried about Hart.

Pacer to Watch: Tyrese Haliburton

This series could've well been billed as a battle of the NBA's backcourt future, with Brunson and Haliburton frequently pitted against each other in amateur and professional debates (particularly those of the Olympic variety) alike. Indiana has had plenty of players rise to the occasion in this series (the depth squad led by T.J. McConnell and Obi Toppin has been particularly valuable) but it'll need its undisputed star to handle business if they're looking to land an improbable conference finals berth.

They Said It

"I wasn't necessarily worried or anything (about Hart), but I guess you can just add it to the list ... "There's been a lot of things, obviously, (that) physically don't go our way with our team this year. But I think our main focus is that whoever we have out there, regardless of what you're dealing with or anything, if you're out there, you're ready to go. That's just been our mindset."-Jalen Brunson on the Knicks' Game 7 mindset (h/t Scott Davis, Sporting News)


Perhaps no one could fault the Knicks for turning back now: the season is a success as is no matter how one tries to slice it and the basketball gods beset them with further heartbreak with Hart's ailment. But ending one of the most egregious droughts in franchise history would be the perfect capper even if things look particularly dire against their high-octane green rivals in the next round. The Knicks have proven themselves capable of legendary Brunsn-based bursts while shorthanded and it'd only be appropriate for them to close it out on one more.

Knicks 108, Pacers 107

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Geoff Magliocchetti


Editor-In-Chief at All Knicks