You make a right, and then another right, and South West Street turns into Martin Luther King Jr. Street, and then you hop on I-65 for a mile and a half. Then two more rights, a left, and East Westfield Boulevard turns into Broad Ripple Avenue. It takes about 20 minutes to travel those eight miles.

The eight miles between where Mike Woodson will lead the Knicks into the fray tonight — when they hook up with the Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals — and where he first began to understand the fervor and the frenzy that go part and parcel with Indiana basketball.

“I feel fortunate,” Woodson said during a private moment last season, in one of the rare times he has agreed to talk about himself. “I got to experience two of the capitals of the game of basketball. I grew up in Indiana, played high school and college basketball there. And I got to play in New York City. Two very different basketball cultures that both revere the game.”

So Woodson knows what his team is in for tonight, and Tuesday night, when they will need to steal a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in order to have a reasonable shot of winning this series.

He played for Broad Ripple High in the Indiana High School Basketball Tournament, in which the roar sometimes lasts for all 32 minutes because there are thousands of people rooting for both sides. He played for Bob Knight at Indiana University, where Assembly Hall sometimes feels like a spaceship taking flight when 17,000 Hoosiers fans lend their voices to an important cause like beating the hell out of Purdue or Iowa or Michigan State.