|AP Photo/Kathy Willens|
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Game 1 Post Game Recap
Final Score: Indiana Pacers: 102 New York Pacers: 95
Knicks Stifled by Pacers, Take Game 1
If Game 1 is any indication of how this series is going to play out, it will be a long one for the Knicks. Game 1 brought about a lot of disappointment for the Knicks and their fans as a series opening lost gives the Knicks two straight losses at Madison Square Garden and a deficit in the playoffs for the first time this season. The last four games for the Knicks have not been very impressive as the offense and defense have both diminished at the same time. The Pacers played an impressive game, stifling the Knicks offense and stopping all of the runs they went on with timely baskets. The Knicks will look to get their act together Tuesday night back at Madison Square Garden when they take on the Pacers in Game 2 of their series.
- Raymond Felton played another good game for the Knicks, something he has done consistently throughout the playoffs. The pick-and-roll was defended well this afternoon by the Pacers but Felton still found a way to cause some problems for the Pacer defense, scoring 18 points on eight of 12 shooting from the field. Felton would add two rebounds and three assists and an important zero in the turnover column; something that is important because of how well the Pacers play defense. The only problem was Felton was rendered basically useless in the second half and not because of the Pacers defense, instead his own team as Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith became the primary ball handlers and Felton fell into the background, taking only four shots in the second half.
- Iman Shumpert once is being placed in a difficult matchup but is showing once again no task is too tall for him to climb. Shumpert was matched up this afternoon and most likely for a big portion of the series against 6’10” Paul George, the do-it all small forward for the Pacers. Shumpert is at a distinct size advantage but holds his own on the defensive end. Today he held George to five of 14 shooting, five rebounds and four assists. Shumpert had his struggles on the offensive end, going four of 11 from the field but realistically he is on the court and that is what he delivered today; any offense he gives the Knicks is an added bonus.
- Chris Copeland only played eight minutes but he showed confidence and deserves some more run, especially in a series that offense may be hard to come by. He scored six points in his time on the court, knocking down two three pointers and also playing some good defense, causing a turnover on one occasion by Ian Mahinmi. Copeland should have a chance to play again in Game 2 as Steve Novak back is acting up and Amar’e Stoudemire is still at least another game away.
- This was a tough one to watch as a Knicks fan and a reason for that was the domination of the Knicks in the paint by the Pacers. The Pacers owned the paint, outrebounding the Knicks 44-30 and outscoring them 46-32 in there as well. The Knicks had a tough night competing with the size of the Pacers frontline of Roy Hibbert and David West and struggled to keep the Pacer’s guards in check as well. The starting backcourt of Lance Stephenson and George Hill combined for 20 rebounds, 11 more than the Knicks guards Felton, Pablo Prigioni, J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd combined.
- The offense for the Knicks was abysmal throughout the afternoon in large part because their top guys Anthony and Smith struggled so much. The two combined to go 14 of 43 from the field, a number that is too low for the Knicks to overcome against a team as talented as the Pacers. On the night the Knicks shot 35 of 81 from the field, good for only 43.2 percent and a decent 36.8 percent from deep, going seven of 19. The Knicks were unable to compete with the size of the Pacers, as Hibbert and West swatted away plenty of Knicks attempts near the rim, blocking seven shots combined and causing plenty of missed shots. The Knicks had trouble running their pick-and-roll offense as well, resulting in a number of tough contested jump shots that just did not fall.
- Jason Kidd went scoreless for the fifth straight game and is finally starting to show his age on the court. Kidd is not having the same impact he had earlier in the season, as teams are no longer even guarding him when the Knicks are on offense, leading to teams loading up on the likes of Anthony and Smith. Kidd is also being exposed on the defensive end, especially tonight against the younger explosive Pacer guards, as Stephenson and Hill blew by Kidd at will. Kidd offered little resistance and threw the Knicks rotations out of whack as they had to recover for his inefficiencies. Stephenson put on a show in his return to Madison Square Garden, a place he has been playing and dominating at since high school, scoring 11 points in addition to his 13 rebounds, adding three assists and three steals as well. Stephenson is a player that could have easily been on the other bench in this series, as the Knicks had a chance to draft him in 2011 with one of their two second round picks but elected to waste the first on Andy Rautins and elect Landry Fields with the second.
- Mike Woodson needs to start abiding by the accountability that he preaches to his players. Woodson once again had some questionable rotation decision tonight and will have to break his stubborn streak if the Knicks want to win this series. He needs to realize that Kidd does not fit this scheme to beat the Pacers and give run to the likes of Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni. A coach who is admittedly bias to veterans should actually use the one who will help in Marcus Camby. As the Pacers decimated the Knicks in the paint the defensive minded Camby sat on the bench and watched idly as Anthony got into foul trouble attempting to guard David West and Chandler got dominated by Hibbert.
- Chandler needs to step his game up if the Knicks are to win this series. He started the Celtics series slow so hopefully he gets it together like he did against them because the Knicks are going nowhere fast without a productive Chandler. He is the heart and soul of the Knicks defense and is their anchor; he did not win Defensive Player of the Year for nothing. Hopefully that Chandler shows up in Game 2 and the remainder of the playoffs and not the one we saw tonight, who was beat handily by Hibbert.