“Not a Tough Guy”: Is the Knicks-Pacers Rivalry Back?


May 14, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) argues with New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the second half during game five of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

(New York, NY) – The Knicks-Pacers series has not disappointed through five games.

Games 1-3 were true “clutch contests” – and while Games 4 and 5 were blowouts – they both served to ramp up the chippiness of the series overall. TV cameras caught plenty of trash talk from the Pacers side during the Game 4 rout in Indianapolis, and Knicks star guard Jalen Brunson told his opponents “it’s a long series.”

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

That sentiment proved true when the Knicks returned the favor and blew out the Pacers at MSG during Tuesday night’s Game 5. And the emotional flare ups were there yet again.

Specifically, after Donte DiVincenzo slammed home a put-back dunk, firing up the MSG crowd – he and Miles Turner got into it at the other end of the floor.

DiVincenzo was trying to fight through a pick, and the two got tangled up. Separated by the refs and their teammates, both Turner and DiVincenzo exchanged pleasantries.

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Asked for his take on the interaction afterwards, DiVincenzo was less than impressed.

“They’re trying to be tough guys and that’s not their identity,” the 27-year-old guard said flatly. He also alluded to the fact that actual fights are highly uncommon in the association. “Nobody is going to fight in the NBA. Take the foul and keep it moving. You’re not a tough guy.”

DiVincenzo potentially deserves some credit for blithely making that kind of comment about a man who stands 6’11” and weighs 250 pounds. But Turner is also well known as an avid collector of legos. So – maybe it’s fair to say that’s not exactly the epitome of a “toughie.”

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