By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Monday, May 7th, 2013
Game 2 Post Game Recap
Final Score: Indiana Pacers: 79 New York Knicks: 105
The Knicks and Pacers are now playing a best of five series as a revived Knicks team came out and blew the doors off of the Pacers in a must win Game 2. Improved effort in every aspect of the game, especially on defense and executing the offense led to a victory tonight. The Knicks could not afford to go down 0-2 heading to Indiana for games 3 and 4 and they played like it tonight, looking like a team that would win at no costs. Iman Shumpert said that the Knicks played pissed off, something they should do the rest of the series if the results will be like Game 2.
· The defense was much improved in Game 2 for the Knicks. They forced 21 Pacer turnovers throughout the game and took advantage, turning them into 32 points. On the contrary, the Knicks turned the ball over only seven times for six Pacer points. The Pacers were held to 45.5 percent shooting for the game and 32 percent from the three point line as the effort was stepped up by the Knicks. The most impressive stretch for the Knicks defense was from the end of the third quarter into the fourth quarter as the Pacers didn’t score for more than a full quarter’s length of time, going 12:19 without a basket. Before the scoreless draught the Pacers were shooting 55 percent from the field but struggled with turnovers all night and never led in the game.
· Shumpert put together yet another impressive game, getting the crowd going in the second quarter with quite possibly the play of the year on a put-back dunk off a Chris Copeland missed three pointer. Shumpert was a catalyst in building the Knicks big lead with his normal tenacious defense but also his effective offense. Shumpert scored 15 points on seven of 11 shooting from the field, giving the Knicks an efficient scorer behind Carmelo Anthony with J.R. Smith struggling with his shot. Shumpert also added six rebounds and three assists in only 29 minutes played; a number that should increase as the Knicks are in the playoffs.
· Speaking of Anthony, he finally got his offense going tonight. He scored 32 points in the game, going 13 of 26 from the field, registering his first game of the playoffs in which he shot 50 percent in. Anthony was huge on the glass for the Knicks also, grabbing a team high nine rebounds as the Knicks were actually able to win the rebounding battle 37-35, a huge catalyst in why they blew the Pacers out. Anthony also was willing to make the extra pass tonight, a big reason the Knicks were able to get it going as he had three assists as well and kept his teammates involved. Anthony added two steals to his stat line on the night and did not turn the ball over once.
· The backcourt combination of Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni has been outstanding throughout the playoffs for the Knicks and they did not disappoint Monday night. The two of them on the court help keeps the Knicks offense flowing as they are willing to make the extra passes and keep things moving on the offensive end. The two combined to shoot nine of 13 from the field for 24 points, including a perfect four for four from the three point line. They added six rebounds and seven assists combined as well as good defense on the Pacers backcourt of George Hill and Lance Stephenson, who combined to shoot an unsightly eight of 24 from the field.
· Kenyon Martin has been a valuable piece off the Knicks bench and offered something out of the ordinary Monday night in scoring 10 points off the bench. That was a huge boost for the Knicks who needed people to step up as Smith struggled to get the ball in the basket. Martin also provided the great defensive effort he always does, getting two steals and two blocks on the night as well.
· Since getting a one-game suspension for elbowing Jason Terry, Smith has been way off his game and it continued Monday. Smith scored only eight points on three of 15 shooting from the field and one of seven from the three point line as he just cannot find his shot. Those numbers drop his overall numbers since the suspension to 26.3 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc, well below his season averages of 42.2 and 35.6. The Knicks will need Smith to get out of his funk if they are to continue advancing in the playoffs as he is an integral part of their offense and team.
· Smith’s struggles have been well publicized but compared to Jason Kidd his numbers are off the charts. Kidd just registered his sixth consecutive game without scoring a point, the longest such streak for someone who has played as many minutes as Kidd does per game. Having Kidd on the court right now for the Knicks is hurting more than it is helping as defenses can load up on Anthony because they know Kidd is not a threat. Whoever guards Kidd basically plays centerfield and just clogs the middle more. Both Kidd and Smith could see their minutes decrease as the series wears on with players such as Felton, Prigioni and Shumpert playing well and Amar’e Stoudemire expected to return.
· Felton has been quite possibly the most consistent player for the Knicks throughout the playoffs but limped off the court after tweaking his ankle with 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter and did not return to the game. The score did not require him to comeback so that may have played a part, but if Felton is actually hurt it will be a big blow to the Knicks. They cannot afford to lose another player, especially their starting point guard, at this point in the season and be as effective as they have been. Hopefully the extra rest in between games as the Knicks and Pacers don’t square off again until Saturday, will help out.