I must say as I wrote the title to this post I felt like I was betraying my NYK but I wasn’t, let me explain. Right now the Knicks who hold the second seed in the eastern conference are facing up against the Indiana Pacers who finished with the third seed at the end of the regular season. IN the last series the Knicks dispatched the Celtics and I was very ‘Hype’ that the Celtics left the Playoffs because of the antics of a couple of their players towards a one Carmelo Anthony and his wife LaLa.
But this time around in this young series I fell it’s lacking a serious edge between the players and teams which means that because the Knicks are the better team on paper they’re the bad guys. As well as that the Pacers have very ‘likeable’ players, especially without Danny Granger available, plus the improvements of Paul George and Coney Island native Lance Stephenson throughout the year have been very positive and I just find it hard not to like the Pacers. This time round no one’s making choking signs at Spike Lee.
So when I’m there getting ready for the Knicks game, there’s no trash talk involved to get hyped about and I just think it’s stupid to try and start something. It just feels like a regular season game and I think it’s hard to understand how the players build up intensity in these games when it seems to be lacking in this series. If the Knicks faced any other team remaining there would be a huge atmosphere between the fans and players. Imagine Nate Robinson vs JR Smith? LeBron vs Carmelo? I mean Hibbert vs Chandler just isn’t sprinkled with the same stuff. Sure there have been highlight plays (Yes, Iman I’m calling you out!) and big shots but no intensity like all of the other series. Like look at the Paces bench? They’re boring. They don’t go crazy when George rises for a Slam or when Stephenson sinks a three. The NYK bench go mad when Prigioni gets an assist!
I amn’t in no way asking for Stephen Jackson to run onto the court and punch someone no, but a bit of rivalry wouldn’t do the series any harm because the players wouldn’t be playing for a place in the conference finals but for pride and for bragging rights. I’d much rather the Knicks to win a boring series don’t get me wrong but I think a little argument would spice it up because right now I feel like I’m just going for the Knicks and they’re the bad guys, the big bullies, the HEAT of this series, I also find it hard to not like the Pacers. ‘Blue collar, gold swagger.’ Gotta love that slogan. Plus if you don’t know by now Paul George is my favorite player so when he does something good I can’t help but admire it.
I think last nights blowout victory could fuel some rivalry and I hope it does but right now this series is just as angry as Tim Duncan in a shoe shop. We need this to be T-Mac on Shawn Bradley angry!