Knicks 85 Pacers 75
Tonight the Knicks held of the circling vultures for one more night. I am not going to bore you with monotonous post game talk, but what I will say is that the New York Knicks did what they had to do tonight in a grind out, defensive, ugly game. Neither team had the offensive flow needed to knock Charles Barkley off his chair, but what the Knicks did have was timely baskets and a major contribution from Chris Copeland.
Carmelo Anthony led the way tonight with 28 points and 6 rebounds. His mid-range jumper was clicking tonight, as Melo carried the Knicks offensively. What else is new! Melo is dying for help and a 2nd option.
Raymond Felton ran the pick and roll tonight with fluidity. When Hibbert gets pulled out on the high pick and rolls, Ray has the room to roam and maneuver in the paint. He can drive to the basket, kick it out for a 3 or dish it off for the dunk or layup. This is Knicks basketball and a MUST for the Knicks to win in this series.
Cope helped the Knicks spread the floor and allow Raymond to run high pick and rolls into the paint. Spreading the floor is what the Knicks were known for all year and it’s about time we saw this tonight. Even though the Knicks offense was not as fluid as we all would like, they still finished out the game and gave enough effort to win and force a game 6 in Indy!
The Knicks offensive style we have seen all year still has not shown its face in this series, but the credit should be given to Indiana for playing grind out basketball of the 90’s.
I am still concerned about Tyson Chandler’s lack of rebounds in this series, however tonight he held Roy Hibbert to 9 points and 7 rebounds, while Tyson chipped in with 2 points and 8 rebounds. This is still way under his season average. He needs to give more on the offensive and defensive end to keep the defense honest.
J.R. Smith played a better game tonight, but still has not shot himself out of his slump. He chipped in with 13 points and 6 rebounds on 4-11 shooting. As the second option, this will not be enough to get the win Saturday night. J.R. will eventually shoot himself out of it, but when? Will it be too late or will this happen the next game?
Overall, this game was a must win. The Knicks had a gut check tonight and barely passed the test, but ultimately passed in the end. It is important to remind ourselves that the Knicks still have 2 games to go, starting with the toughest one of the year in Indy on Saturday. If the Knicks want to get out of Indy with a win they will need to build on this one tonight. Effort and urgency is key, but most importantly the Knicks need shots to fall. Let Get It!