Sixers expecting a fight from Knicks in pivotal Game 4 of Round 1

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks have played three close and physical games to begin this Round 1 series. Both teams have exchanged body blows like boxers in the ring and it’s a 2-1 series as the teams prepare for a pivotal Game 4 on Sunday.

The Knicks threw some punches at the Sixers in Games 1 and 2 in order to take the 2-0 series lead. Philadelphia responded in Game 3 to get on the board. One has to assume the Knicks are going to punch back in Game 4.

“Right now it’s not really tactics,” said Nic Batum on Saturday. “X and O’s? No. Both teams know each other. We’ve played each other like seven times already this year. That means we know each other. So now it’s like who wants it more? Over the next couple of games.”

One has to assume that there is a bit of a difference in preparation for a Game 4 compared to a Game 1. Especially, when considering that both teams have seen each other repeatedly and they understand how things work. For the Sixers, they just want to focus on getting the series even.

“Nothing’s changed,” Oubre said. “We’re just keeping the same mentality, same attitude, same schedule, everything is pretty much the same. I think you prepare the same way that you prepare for anything. It’s a very important game as each and every game of this series is so I don’t see much of a difference, but we’re just locked in.”

With that being said, the Sixers are expecting a fight from the Knicks and they are expecting them to throw a punch early on Sunday. New York would love to go back home up 3-1 rather than it being 2-2. That’s where the Sixers have to respond to the physicality.

“Absolutely,” Oubre added. “I mean, they’ve been physical every game. We were just physical as well last game too. So, now we’re too physical, but at the end of the day, like both teams are clashing. Both teams are trying to grit it out, play physical, play strong, play tough. They got the better of us in New York, right? So it’s only right that we come home and we do the same thing that they did to us and just compete.”

It’s the NBA Playoffs. It’s supposed to be this way. Two talented, tough-nosed teams going at it. Philadelphia and New York. It doesn’t get much better than this.

“Tomorrow’s gonna be a battle,” added Batum. “For sure. I mean, it’s gonna be a fight. Those first three games could go either way. Every time. Every time. It could go either way. We could be up 3-0. We could pick down 0-3. We could be up 2-1. I mean, whatever. So right now we’re down 2-1. So tomorrow’s gonna be a fight. We know that and they know that so it’s gonna be a big game.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire