<
>

W2W4: Knicks vs. Pacers

Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight’s Knicks-Pacers game:

Getting their Phil: Wednesday’s game is the first of the Phil Jackson era.

Jackson is expected to address the team before the game. He will also talk to coach Mike Woodson, who is expected to be fired at the end of the season. He’s under contract for next year, but Jackson will likely want to bring in his own coach.

Jackson also said he plans to talk to Carmelo Anthony to offer support as the Knicks attempt to make the playoffs. Any discussions with Anthony about his free agency will take place at a later date.

Lucky 7? The Knicks are 4.5 games behind the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks. They have 15 games to make up the deficit. So every game from here on out will take on a must-win feel.

The game against the Pacers is the Knicks’ first against a team over .500 in seven games. They’ve won six straight, all against teams well under .500.

All six of those games have been won by at least 10 points. That’s the second-longest such streak in franchise history. The Knicks won eight consecutive games, all by a double-digit margin, during the 1969-70 season. Jackson was on that team.

The protest: A group of Knicks fans plans to protest the way James Dolan and team executives have handled the team. The group is expected to line up outside Madison Square Garden a couple of hours before tipoff.

They have said they support the hiring of Jackson but distrust Dolan and his ability to let Jackson do the job without any interference.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.