It's mid-May and the Pacers are still playing basketball. We should all be thankful for that. But let's not get too comfortable. A loss this afternoon would effectively put the season to bed.

This series has been the definition of a slug fest and there's no reason to expect anything different tonight. Coming into Game 1, conventional wisdom said that, if the Pacers wanted to advance, they'd have to use their depth and pace to exhaust the New York Knicks.

That hasn't exactly proven true through three games. Despite being shorthanded and playing a corset-tight rotation, the Knicks have largely been the faster, more physical, more active team in the series. Just look at Josh Hart, who is routinely the first person down the court despite playing just about every minute of every game.

Nevertheless, the wear and tear started to show up – for both teams – at the end of Game 3. We saw missed layups and missed free throws. We saw grimaces and hobbles. With only one day's rest, you can guarantee that today's game will be a contest of wills as much as anything basketball related.

Who can push through the pain? Who can find the extra gear to win the 50/50 ball? Who wants it more?

So far the Knicks have been winning in those categories. Still, I've said all season that this Pacers team has a unique ability to fight back when things look bleak. With the home crowd as wind in their sails, I'm not ruling out a season defining performance tonight.


How to Watch

Tipoff is at 3:30 PM ET.


Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan

See ya in the comments!

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