Win tonight, and the Knicks go home for Game 7. Lose, and their season is over. They trail at the half of Game 6, 55-47.
Here are a few observations from the first half:
CAN'T KEEP THEIR COOL: The Knicks seem to be getting unnerved early in this game. J.R. Smith was whistled for a technical foul after Tyson Chandler picked up his third foul. Chandler was arguing the call, and Smith appeared to poke the ball away from Lance Stephenson and was whistled for a tech.
Coach Mike Woodson was upset with the call and asked referee Ken Mauer for an explanation. Mauer did not provide one, choosing to walk away from Woodson.
Several Knicks are in foul trouble. Chandler and Iman Shumpert have three fouls.
NOT A GOOD START FOR J.R.: Smith is off to a rough start in Game 6. He is 1-for-6 with one turnover and has been beaten on several hustle plays. Indy's Sam Young beat him on a long rebound near the baseline. A few minutes later, Young beat Smith for an offensive rebound and putback. Woodson then benched Smith.
The Knicks, as a whole, are getting outhustled by Indy. The Pacers have 25 rebounds. The Knicks have 15. The Pacers have 26 paint points, and the Knicks have 10. The Pacers also have nine fast-break points; New York has zero.
Pacers guard Stephenson, a Coney Island product, has 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He has made 6 of 8 shots.
CARMELO SHOOTING WELL: Carmelo Anthony started the game by missing his first three shots but then hit five straight. Anthony has 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting, his most efficient half of the series.
Amar'e Stoudemire played six minutes in the first half, and Jason Kidd played seven. Neither played in the second half of Game 5. I'd be surprised if you see them out there in the second half of Game 6, either.