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NBA Playoffs: 3 Main Reasons New York Knicks Have Early Lead Over Indiana Pacers

The New York Knicks have taken an early 2-0 lead over the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

After Game 2, Pacers’ head coach Rick Carlisle spent his press conference complaining about officiating over the first two games. On Thursday, he submitted 78 plays from Games 1 and 2 to the NBA for review.

What will this accomplish? Maybe the Pacers get a few more calls on their home floor. If you think that the officials are the reason the Knicks are up early, you have not watched the series in-depth.

Below, take a look at the three major reasons the Pacers have dropped the first two games.

3. Poor defense, poor coaching

Carlisle can complain about the officials all he wants but he has been a reason why the Pacers have lost two in a row.

First, it is because of his rotations. T.J. McConnell has been effective on both ends of the floor in this series. He has given Jalen Brunson the most issue while also scoring in the lane at will. McConnell is not a good three-point shooter, which could be the reason he has not been on the floor late. Regardless, Carlisle has not gone with the hot hand.

Defensively, the Pacers have allowed 121 and 130 points over the first two games. In Game 2, the Knicks had 92 possessions and were able to score at will, especially late in the game. It is difficult to understand how Carlisle is putting emphasis on the officials when his team has been unable to get stops.

2. Rebounding

The Knicks have become known for their effort on the glass during the postseason. It began against the Philadelphia 76ers and has continued over two games against Indiana. New York has out rebounded Indiana by 18 over the first two games and has grabbed 20 offensive rebounds. Josh Hart has been at the forefront of this effort while Isaiah Hartenstein is also playing great basketball on both ends of the floor.

1. Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson took his game to the next level this season. The question was, could it continue in the postseason? The answer has been yes.

Brunson scored 40 or more points in four consecutive games, dating back to the Sixers’ series. That streak was snapped in Game 2 as Brunson missed the second quarter with a foot injury. He returned and scored 24 points in the second half. Brunson has outplayed Tyrese Haliburton through two games and has been the best player on the floor.


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