Knicks vs Pacers Game 6 preview

The New York Knicks visit the Indiana Pacers at 8 p.m. ET tonight for Game 6 of the Eastern conference semi-finals. With the Pacers up, the Knicks must win or be eliminated from the postseason.

Here’s the Associated Press on the matchup:

The Indiana Pacers won’t know until Saturday night whether point guard George Hill will start in Game 6 against New York.

Hill participated in the team’s morning shootaround, which is part of the process of passing his concussion test. But doctors had not yet cleared Hill to play.

”He just did some work today. He looked fine, but he has to do more tests this afternoon,” coach Frank Vogel said. ”There’s a long list of things that’s part of the NBA’s protocol. He’s in the middle of that process. He’s not ruled out, not cleared to play. He’s a game-time decision.”

Vogel said he was preparing to play without Hill.

Hill scored 26 points Tuesday night in Game 4 after a first-quarter collision with Knicks center Tyson Chandler. Two days later, after the team’s shootaround, Hill was still complaining of headaches. Team doctors then diagnosed him with a concussion, forcing him to sit out Game 5. His replacement, D.J. Augustin, played nearly 39 minutes and had no assists as the Pacers lost 85-75. The win allowed New York to climb back within 3-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.

Indiana gets a second chance to close out the series Saturday at home, where they are 5-0 in the postseason and have won all five games by double digits.

Vogel has not said who will start Saturday if Hill does not play.

”We prepare for guys to be out. D.J. Augustin, Ben Hansbrough. Lance (Stephenson) understands that he has to play some (point guard),” Vogel said. ”They’ve prepared for that all year. . Mentally for those guys, knowing might help them a little bit.”

– Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

Here is the rest of the How to Win Game 6 blueprint [for the Knicks]:

“Forty-eight minutes of commitment,” Woodson said on ESPN radio yesterday.

Limit the Pacers’ second-chance points because they have difficulty scoring. Every Knick crashes the boards.

Jump on the Pacers early, make them start sweating a Game 7 at the Garden and take the crowd out of it at the same time.

Twenty more minutes for Chris Copeland. In an ugly series, he can be the difference with his 3-point shooting. He opens the floor up for Melo and Co.

Keep encouraging J.R. Smith.

“He made a very positive step forward,” Woodson said. He’s long overdue for a breakout game.

No whining about the referees. Keep your composure.

Thirty points and a big fourth quarter from Carmelo Anthony.

– Reported by Steve Serby of the New York Post