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Preview: Knicks can win Game 2, they just need to do what Bernard King said

May 7, 2013, 3:48 PM EDT

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony reacts after he was called for foul against Indiana Pacers in NBA game in New York Reuters

The Knicks are not going to change who they are Tuesday night.

After the Pacers beat the Knicks in Game 1 Sunday, when the Pacers size and physicality up front proved a problem for the Knicks, there was some talk of them going big (starting Kenyon Martin at the four and bumping Carmelo Anthony to the three).

But the Knicks got the No. 2 seed in the East playing small ball with Anthony at the four this year and they are going to stick with it. Good. Changing identities at this point is a bad idea.

But if the Knicks are going to even this series out a few things have to happen — a couple of them outlined by Bernard King (or his friend) on twitter, before the oversensitive Knicks made him shut down his account (way to treat your Hall of Famer).

1) Share the ball. The Knicks had 15 assists on 35 made baskets in Game 1. In the playoffs, they have assisted on 45 percent of their baskets (they averaged 52.7 percent in the regular season). The Pacers are too good defensively; if you don’t share the rock all your shots will be contested. What this means to me is more Jason Kidd and less J.R. Smith. And sharing the ball will likely lead to more points in the paint because you have to get Roy Hibbert’s feet moving and not let him anchor the paint.

2) More Raymond Felton/Tyson Chandler pick-and-roll. It doesn’t just have to be a 1/5 pick-and-roll, run some 4/5 with Anthony. But the Knicks had success with side P&R in the first quarter of Game 1, then went away from it and had more isolation sets. How’d that work out for you? Exactly. Also, this works to get Hibbert moving and out of the paint.

3) Shore up the defense. The Pacers are not a great offensive team, but they are better than the Rondo-less Celtics — Paul George can create, David West is a pick-and-pop force with some post moves, and Roy Hibbert has his groove back. They will score if you don’t challenge and contest them, and what made it difficult in Game 1 is the Pacers showed balance and scored a variety of ways. This isn’t something as simple as changing pick-and-roll coverage, the Knicks have to be generally sharper. They can be. The Knicks are a better defensive team than they showed in Game 1, but they have to tighten things up.

For the Pacers, it comes back to defense then getting some easy buckets in transition. The physicality of the Pacers in Game 1 threw the Knicks off their stride — keep on doing it. Felton said the Pacers were dirty and going after ‘Melo’s sore shoulder, you should tell him “welcome to the playoffs.” Play a little edgy, take a few calls. That’s fine, just don’t let the Knicks get comfortable in their offense. Do that, turn some of those Knicks misses in to easy transition buckets the other way, and you can take a stranglehold on this series.

  1. supremekingz - May 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Face it. Knicks are done. Pacers are perfectly built to stop them

  2. mungman69 - May 7, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    The Knicks will struggle playing Indy’s style of ball. Indy is the better team. The Knicks will need more help than the refs can give.

  3. micknangold - May 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Kidd’s been throwing the ball away too much. Prigioni needs to step up in a major way.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - May 7, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Yeah, regardless if Bernard’s rep or Bernard himself wrote it, it’s true. Melo somehow thinks he can revert to what he was doing when we were struggling and abandon what got us that winning streak SMH.

    • melkipershero - May 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Theres a reason Melo has made it past the 1st round twice. Hes not a winning player. Add in JR Smith and its just a bad combo. Of course if theyre both on they can beat anybody.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2013 at 3:49 AM

        Melo reverted to the early and late season Melo tonight, which is good, but I’ve seen LeBron make those pre-game halfcourt heaves more accurately than JR has shot since that BS suspension wiped out his rhythm.

  5. caeser12 - May 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Heat can win Game 2, they just need to do what Rony Seikaly said.

    See I can do that too.

    Truth: My Knicks do need to move the damn ball around. Go NY.

  6. bux1022 - May 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Move the ball and sure up the defense. Brilliant deduction Watson!

  7. bux1022 - May 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Knicks were 2-2 in regular season games, both wins by blowouts. We should have won 3 of four. These are the same Pacers we faced all year! It will be a series that we win. We will play Miami in the conference championships. The same haters that chime in, author included, are the same people that said Boston would beat us too….and look how that turned out!!

    • melkipershero - May 7, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      People like you make people like me hate the Knicks and Heat. Not the only two teams with fans like this. Its so annoying. The Pacers are no joke and this isnt the regular season. Be a true fan and say if we play our best we can beat anyone, but if Melo doesnt share the ball or we dont play team D were in trouble.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2013 at 3:58 AM

        He’s not far off. Yes, the randomness of the regular season makes some games irrelevant to playoff games, but matchups are matchups, and that doesn’t change. Woodson is a better coach than Vogel.

        Secondly, if that’s your reason for hating a team, merely disagreeing with the fans of those teams (for instance, longtime REAL Knicks fans hated Miami long before any of those guys on today’s team were even shaving yet, well, except Ray Allen, who can’t grow a mustache to save his life), then you are just as bad as the fans/teams you claim to hate.

        Lastly, the Pacers can defend at times, but when you force them out of their plan to pack the lane, they are decidedly average defensively. Whenever Hibbert and/or West have to come out of the paint, they are not as good as rotating as Vogel likes to claim. In both of the wins during the regular season, the Knicks exploited this. In one of the two losses, they played tons of isolation and went flat late. The other game with the blowout doesn’t even have a bearing on anything, as they were still in vacation mode and it showed early on, well before the game got out of hand.

        Indiana’s defense is great when they dictate what you do for four quarters. When they have to adjust to your adjustments, they aren’t very good at all. And on top of that, the key to the game is outscoring the other team. The Knicks still score easier than the Pacers do. They may have four or five guys who defend their positions without the need of routine help, but the Knicks have just as many guys who can SCORE.

        Good offense always beats good defense when the offense gets what it wants, and isn’t forced to play the way the good defensive team wants them to play. The Knicks play defense when they absolutely have to — except in games like tonight, when they were determined to do so all game — but they were 5 PPG behind Indiana with several more possessions per game for their opponents during the regular season.

        Translation: Indiana’s defense ain’t much better than the Knicks’, but the Knicks’ offense is MUCH better than the Pacers’.

  8. bux1022 - May 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    People like me don’t care about people like you! The facts speak for themselves. If you doubt it then you should watch basketball. Your probably from Hicksville(Indiana) so I assume your first “sport” was NASCAR!

    Knicks fans have defended our team since day one. First it was IT, then it was Amare, then Melo, then it’s our defense. We had a great season. Just give us our damn credit!

  9. bux1022 - May 7, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    1-1 chumps! Stat back on Sat. Miami here we come!

  10. bux1022 - May 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Looks like another Knicks blowout of the Pacers! That’s 3 this year and if the regular season doesn’t matter, well there’s another one! Big Apple Biz!

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