Miles McBride


Miles McBride


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Miles McBride celebrating after a Game 6 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on May 2.

Down their second-best player in Julius Randle, the New York Knicks are headed into the Conference Semifinals as favorites over the Indiana Pacers.

That’s in part credit to Miles McBride and his growth in year three.

After a first-round series where he averaged 11.3 points on 43-percent shooting from three, he sounded off with an Instagram post ahead of Game 1 against the Pacers.

“Take it up a level,” McBride captioned the photos slideshow with shots from their first-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Whether a message to himself, the Knicks as a team, song lyrics, or just words posted, McBride’s message rings true.

Headed into a second-round series against Indiana, New York is leveling up. And they’ll have to keep leveling up to go further.

11 Experts Pick Knicks Over Pacers

In a May 4 column for ESPN, a number of staff members were asked to make a prediction for every second-round matchup.

All 11 members predicted the Knicks to win their series against the Pacers.

Only two among them, Israel Gutierrez and Ohm Youngmisuk had the series going 7 games.

But on the other hand, none of the ESPN experts had New York capable of completing the second-round sweep.

There are three predictions for a five-game series victory, and six predictions for a six-game Knicks’ win.

New York opened as a strong favorite against Indiana, with -245 odds on DraftKings.

The regular-series favored the Pacers, who won two of three games against the Knicks.

But all three of those games came without OG Anunoby suiting up. New York is 24-5 all-time when the defensive star plays.

Anunoby will play an important role as the “Pascal Siakam stopper.”

Indiana’s starting power forward is averaging 22.3 points per game on an efficient 55% shooting from the field.

Trust that Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks will deploy Anunoby on Siakam from jump.

And after locking down Tyrese Maxey in an elimination Game 6, look for Donte DiVincenzo to draw the Tyrese Haliburton matchup.


Hart on McConnell: ‘He’s an Annoying Little (Expletive)’

McBride will follow DiVincenzo up off the bench, guarding Haliburton in minutes where the starter rests.

But he’ll also contribute in a New York-wide scheme to keep their backup guard at bay, too.

Fresh off of a 20-point game to help eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks, T.J. McConnell is bound for another big part in the Pacers’ second-round series.

He recorded 16 points and 6 assists in Indiana’s last meeting with New York, helping his team to a win. And outperforming his season averages of 10.2 points and 5.5 assists.

When asked about the Pacers’ sixth man on May 5, Josh Hart was “complimentary,” but also made to take a joking jab at the guard.

“He’s an annoying little (expletive),” he told reporters.

According to NBA.com’s matchups tracker, McConnell shot 5-for-6 from the field with one turnover when defended by McBride in 2 games. Haliburton didn’t record any shot attempts against the Knicks’ backup this season.

Miles McBride will try to pick it up on the defensive end against the Indiana Pacers, and win in his individual matchups.

And the New York Knicks will be tasked with living up to the preset expectations of a thorough stomping and series win.

Collin Loring covers the NBA and MLB for Heavy.com, where he has been a contributor since 2021. His sports coverage has also been featured at FanSided, Elite Sports NY and The Strickland. More about Collin Loring





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