In the heated backdrop of Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo didn’t mince words following their decisive win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5. “They were talking, trying to be physical, basically trying to be our brand, our identity, and they were successful with it last game,” DiVincenzo expressed, highlighting the shift in dynamics from Game 4. “We regrouped, watched film, and just understood that’s not who we are. We came out tonight and that’s exactly who we are.”

The Knicks, rebounding from a significant 32-point loss in Indiana, reclaimed control of the series with a display of overwhelming force.

Dominating the rebounding battle, the Knicks outpaced the Pacers with a staggering plus-28 margin, including snagging 20 offensive rebounds compared to Indiana’s five, allowing them to attempt 29 more shots than their rivals.

The series, noted for its intense physicality and defensive prowess, saw tensions peak with two major confrontations. The first occurred when Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein confronted Isaiah Jackson of the Pacers following an illegal screen. The second altercation involved DiVincenzo and Myles Turner after a contentious screen led to a foul and subsequent heated exchange.

These confrontations culminated in five technical fouls, three assigned to the Knicks. “That’s just a side effect of coming out with energy and toughness and tenacity,” commented Josh Hart, accepting the technical fouls as part of their aggressive strategy.

DiVincenzo sharply criticized the Pacers’ approach, stating, “They’re trying to be tough guys. And that’s not their identity. Nobody is going to fight in the NBA. Take the foul and keep it moving. You’re not a tough guy, just keep it moving”, via CBS Sports.

As the series prepares to return to Indiana, DiVincenzo emphasized the importance of maintaining their identity. “They are going to come with the physicality in the next game,” he noted. “Just be ourselves for the full 48 minutes. When we do that, rebound and defend we can beat anybody.”



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