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Donte DiVincenzo: “The Pacers are trying to play tough”

A bit of the spirit of yesteryear in this Knicks and Pacers series. In this fifth round between the two rival teams from the 1990s, the intensity has clearly gone up a notch. One player particularly stood out in this regard: Donte DiVincenzo.

First there was his big defense on the ball from TJ McConnell, ended with a generously favorable whistle (offensive foul by the Pacers leader). The two men exchanged a few sweet words after this arbitration decision.

Then a few minutes later, at the start of the second quarter, this very strong screen from Isaiah Jackson on the same Knicks back. The latter fell to the ground while Isaiah Hartenstein came to demand accountability, chest to chest, and Alec Burks made a hand gesture to push back the inside of the Pacers. Results of the operation: a technical fault for the three actors.

Quantity of technical fouls

But the clearest sequence came in the middle of the third quarter, when the same Donte DiVincenzo took off for a tap dunk which gave his team a 22-point lead. In the seconds that followed, the full-back found himself at the heart of an altercation with Myles Turner this time, after another contentious screen.

Obviously, the inside of the Pacers, who lost their calm during the sequence, had little taste for what looked like an elbow received in the stomach, then for the words of DiVincenzo. With, again, a technical fault each, while Isaiah Hartenstein came closer to the events with caution : “ I was a little hesitant (smile) because they wanted me to take my second technical foul. »

According to DiVincenzo, the Pacers “ were talking, trying to be physical, trying to enforce our brand, our identity, and they managed to do that in the last game. We regrouped, we looked at the images and we understood that we were not like that. Tonight, that's exactly what we are. »

DiVincenzo targets Turner

Namely a physical team which, despite a full infirmary, still finds a way to respond, by fighting like never before on the rebound for example. So too bad if it costs technical errors along the way. Even better, since the Garden loves this state of mind.

It's just a side effect of coming with energy, toughness and determination. We would clearly have liked not to have some of the techniques received, but that goes hand in hand with the competitiveness and toughness that we try to bring », Judge Josh Hart.

A way of doing things which, again according to DiVincenzo, would not suit the Pacers. “ They're trying to play tough. And that’s not their identity. Nobody is going to fight in the NBA. Take the blame and move on. You're not tough, move on », Says the rear, indirectly targeting Myles Turner, and being convinced that the Pacers will seek to respond physically in the next match.

This is promising for this 6th round on Friday in Indiana.

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