Keys To Beating A Beast
At 30-7 and 19-1 at home, the Pacers are an intimidating force on a mission to reach the Finals this season. Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Roy Hibbert, David West, and a re-tooled bench make up the best team in the East through 37 games.
At Thursday’s shootaround, Iman Shumpert described part of the game plan to top Indiana on its home floor and what’s the biggest challenge when facing this elite squad.
“Guarding their big fella,” Shumpert stated. “When they throw it inside, Hibbert, David West, as long as we can keep them in control, keep Paul George and the rest of their guards out of the paint, Lance Stephenson. Keep those guys out of the paint; I think we’ll be fine. We can’t let them dictate how the game is going to go. We have to make them do what we want to do.”
Pablo Prigioni was a key cog in the Knicks run to 54 wins a season ago. For the past 14 games, the point guard has been sidelined with a fractured big toe. The 36-year old is taking a wait and see approach while potentially eyeing the next couple of games for his return.
“I hate to be injured. I hate that I can’t help the team, so now I feel happy and I’m excited. Like I said, I’ll talk to him [Mike Woodson] today and we’ll see and what he says, I will follow.”
Looking ahead, Prigioni’s availability would make the Knicks backcourt completely whole again and add depth for Woodson. The head coach will have Raymond Felton, Prigioni, Beno Udrih, and the youngster Toure´ Murry at his disposal.