Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks prediction: Who will win Game 7 in NBA playoffs?

NEW YORK — Tyrese Haliburton mentioned when the Pacers and Knicks advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals that it would only be fitting for Indiana’s return to the playoffs to include a series with their long-time playoff rivals going back to the Reggie Miller-Patrick Ewing classic battles of the 1990s.

And it is therefore also fitting that the first Game 7 this young group of Pacers experiences together would be against the New York Knicks.

The Pacers and Knicks met in a Game 7 in back-to-back years in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals and the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals with the deciding game in both series being played in Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won the first game to reach their first NBA Finals since 1973 and the Pacers claimed the 1995 Game 7 before losing to the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals.

These Pacers don’t have the same Game 7 experience that the 1995 squad did and just a few of them have appeared in Game 7s at any point in their careers. But it’s been made clear to them what surviving to the Eastern Conference to play the Celtics will require.

“In Game 7s,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said, “it comes down to compete level and how well you’re tied together.”

Here is our prediction for Game 7

Dustin Dopirak, Pacers beat writer: The Pacers have proven a lot about themselves in these playoffs, particularly their resiliency when it comes to moving past losses and rough performances. That had been pretty well established in the regular season, but the playoffs carry with it the obvious factor of each game having the season at least partially riding on it. Every time the Pacers have found themselves in a spot where they absolutely had to win, they won.

But Game 7 is a different story, as is winning in Madison Square Garden. Gainbridge Fieldhouse has very much stepped up to match the Garden’s intensity throughout these playoffs and Indiana’s home crowd has elevated the Pacers ferocity and pace just as well as MSG has helped elevate the Knicks though high-minute loads.

But neither team has been able to win on the road in this series, and we’re going to say that trend continues. The Knicks could be in trouble if Josh Hart can’t play, but if he can stand up, he probably will, and Jalen Brunson will almost certainly be better in Game 7 than he was in Game 6. He knocked down a few shots and scored 26 points in the second half of Game 6 seemingly for the sole purpose of getting his momentum going. He seems to have a classic in him and the Pacers haven’t proven yet they can overcome that road environment: Knicks 112, Pacers 105.

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