Knicks' help is on the way after a brutal trip to Indiana

The New York Knicks are in desperate need of some home cooking. After opening the series with two straight wins, the Knicks are now tied at two games apiece against the Indiana Pacers. Things went horribly wrong in Indiana, especially in Game 4. But thankfully the Knicks return to New York for Game 5. And while the home court isn't as good as a healthy OG Anunoby, Madison Square Garden has been incredibly kind to the Knicks so far this postseason. And that home-field advantage could give new impetus to a Knicks team that looks increasingly struggling.

The Knicks' home court has been good this postseason

The Knicks are currently 4-1 when playing at home this postseason. That's not particularly shocking, but the fact remains that home advantage still exists in New York. Madison Square Garden was particularly loud in the Knicks' first-round game against the Philadelphia 76ers. They did their best to intimidate and hype up the 76ers, particularly focusing on reigning MVP Joel Embiid. And overall they did their job.

The crowd was a little less engaged in Game 1 against the Pacers, but didn't wake up until late in the game. To be fair, even fans are suffering an emotional hangover after getting past a rival in a closely contested series. They were sharper in Game 2, but there is significantly more motivation for Knicks fans to come back for Game 5 with a healthy dose of energy and vitriol.

The logic behind why Knicks fans will be motivated is obvious. namely, a stunning Game 4 loss at Indiana. But although New York was in a bit of turmoil at the start of the series, it's still in turmoil now. OG Anunoby suffered a hamstring strain that cost him Game 3 and Game 4. Anunoby is questionable for Game 5. Jalen Brunson also injured his right foot. And while he hasn't missed a game, he hasn't looked like a fully healthy version of himself since the injury, especially in Game 4.

Can MSG replace the injured OG Anunoby?

Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Anunoby's injury is particularly concerning. His presence is obviously a big boost for New York, which is 26-5 with Anunoby in its lineup. He is one of the best defensive stoppers in the game and had impressive offensive performances in the second-round game against Indiana.

Luckily, the Garden crowd is a powerful sixth man. They have been particularly committed this postseason and they are an intimidating bunch. Expect an extra level of motivation for Game 5 as Knicks fans are likely bitter about the end of Game 3 and the lack of a fight in Game 4.

But home-field advantage isn't exactly new for the Knicks. They had the ninth-best home record throughout the regular season and finished the year 7-3 at MSG. That's impressive, especially for a team that has suffered a lot of injuries this season.

Hopefully coming home has a strong effect on the Knicks. Otherwise, their season could be over. Due to the injuries, New York is rather undermanned. And that has paralyzed a team that has so much depth Was a great strength. Now they're struggling to fill out their rotation. And having Brunson and Josh Hart play more than 40 minutes per game has already taken its toll. The longer this series lasts, the worse the Knicks' chances of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, something they haven't done in 24 years.

Anna Harden

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