May 11, 2013, 11:43 PM EST
Tyson Chandler slowed to let a potential defensive rebound bounce in front of him. Seeing an opportunity, Tyler Hansbrough surged from behind and knocked the ball off Stoudemire as Hansbrough fell out of bounds. The ball bounced off Chandler and over the baseline, and though it next hit the knee of Hansbrough, who was then out of bounds, the officials gave the Pacers the ball.
Before New York could protest, the Pacers had another offensive rebound, Roy Hibbert made a left-handed hook shot, and Indiana took a 2-1 series lead with its 82-71 win tonight.
Whether the Knicks know it or not, this series is getting away from them.
Teams shooting 35 percent or worse from the field had been 2-81 since the beginning of this season, but the Pacers became the third team to win in those circumstances for one big reason (REBOUNDING) and two smaller reasons (3-pointers and the Knicks’ offense being nearly as abysmal).
Indiana outrebounded New York, 53-40, allowing the Pacers to turn the ball over more than the Knicks and still attempt nine more shots. Hibbert (24 points and 12 rebounds) came up big, but it was really a total team effort. Rank the starters by rebounds, and the Pacers have the top two spots and five of the top six, and the Knicks have the bottom four.
1. Pacers (Roy Hibbert, 12)
1. Pacers (David West, 12)
3. Knicks (Iman Shumpert, 9)
4. Pacers (Paul George, 8)
5. Pacers (Lance Stephenson, 7)
6. Pacers (George Hill, 6)
7. Knicks (Tyson Chandler, 5)
7. Knicks (Carmelo Anthony, 5)
9. Knicks (Raymond Felton, 3)
10. Knicks (Pablo Prigioni, 0)
New York’s starters played more than Indiana’s but that underscores the point: The Pacers – big, physical and aggressive on the glass – have a stronger identity than the Knicks right now. New York is still tinkering, which is a dangerous state this deep into the playoffs.
The Knicks were an OK rebounding team during the regular season – ranking 19th in offensive rebounding, 4th in defensive rebounding and 18th overall – but Indiana (fourth offensively, sixth defensively and first overall) has exposed New York’s relative size deficiencies.
The Knicks’ latest adjustment, giving Amar’e Stoudemire nine minutes, didn’t go so hot. With him on the floor, Indiana had more offensive rebounds than New York had defensive rebounds.
Another key for for the Pacers was 3-point shooting. Although they shot just 30.3 percent from beyond the arc, a mark that would have ranked last in the league during the regular season, they made seven more 3s than New York. That’s because the Knicks crowded the paint, allowing Indiana to take 22 more 3-point attempts than New York. Even at a below-average clip, 3-pointers are very valuable due to being worth 50 percent more points than other shots, and the Knicks erred by strategically allowing so many 3s.
Staying on the Pacers’ 3-point shooters will be a relatively easy adjustment for New York going to Game 4, but how do they fix the rebounding? And there’s the Knicks’ offense.
New York looked looked especially horrid offensively at times tonight, but in their lowest moments, the Knicks found the most unlikely saviors.
Their only points on their first seven possessions came on a 20-foot Chandler jumper, his longest made field goal as a Knick.
In the final 6:47 of the third quarter, J.R. Smith was the only Knick to make a shot – and it’s not like he was lighting it up, shooting 2-for-5 in that span – until Stoudemire made a tip-in with six seconds left (a basket that didn’t count until a replay review between the third and fourth quarters overruled a shot clock violation called prior to the basket) and then made his first 3-pointer since Jan. 21, 2012.
Otherwise, Carmelo Anthony (21 points on 6-of-16 shooting) kept them afloat . No other Knick scored double digits.
But the patchwork offense eventually ripped at the seems. The Knicks made only one shot in the first 9:58 of the fourth quarter, and by then, the Pacers’ lead had swelled to 16.
On the other hand, Paul George made his mark while producing shooting just 4-of-17 and committing five turnovers. He had eight rebounds, eight assists (a difficult feat in a game when his teammates shot just 38 percent) and five steals while playing quality defense on Melo.
This isn’t the tidy series the Knicks need, and that’s why the Pacers’ leg up seems even bigger than their 2-1 series lead.
Dec 20, 2013, 12:10 PM EST
Luol Deng isn’t going anywhere fast — and we don’t just mean because he’s in a walking boot right now trying to rest his Achilles (he hopes to be back Christmas Day). We mean on the trade market. Ever since Derrick Rose went down injured it has been the conventional wisdom that the Bulls would…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:45 AM EST
The 76ers have lost seven straight, 11 of 12 and 15 of 17. After a 3-0 start threatened Sam Hinkie’s plans – and kept Philadelphia in the heart of the playoff race far too long in the downtrodden Eastern Conference – the 76ers are right back on track. They’re losing and losing often, putting themselves…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:15 AM EST
Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez do not look alike, at least not completely. Robin, the Trail Blazers’ center sports a wild afro. His twin brother, Brook, the Nets’ center, has a closer crop. But is that why they don’t look alike now? Did Robin grow out his hair to look distinct from Brook? Robin, via…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:45 AM EST
Kobe Bryant didn’t mince words, and neither did Charles Barkley. “Only an idiot would” doubt his resolve to return, Kobe said. “Kobe Bryant shouldn’t play anymore this year,” Barkley said. Kobe is definitely right, and Barkley might be right. Nobody should even consider that Kobe won’t work as hard as he can to get back…
Serge Ibaka blocks Joakim Noah twice on same possession, leads to a transition three from Durant (VIDEO)
Dec 20, 2013, 10:14 AM EST
These are the kinds of plays that are absolute back-breakers for teams playing on the road, because it gets the crowd involved and swings all of the momentum in the home team’s favor. Serge Ibaka comes up with two blocks on Joakim Noah on the same possession, which is highlight-worthy by itself. But the fact…
Jeff Van Gundy says it would be ‘ludicrous’ for Knicks to fire Mike Woodson after timeout failure vs. Wizards
Dec 20, 2013, 9:31 AM EST
After the Knicks lost to the Wizards earlier this week by coming undone on the game’s final two possessions, there were some observers that believed Mike Woodson should finally take the fall for his role in not only that particular loss, but also how his team had underachieved to this point in the season. New…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:44 AM EST
In the NBA, guys often have good friends on the opposing team — guys they played with in AAU or college, guys who share an agent, guys they work out with in the summer. There is a camaraderie. Kendrick Perkins is old school, weaned on the Kevin Garnett “I hate the guys on the other…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
In the early days of mixed martial arts, there were quite a few athletes who would refuse to submit in the ring. Their arm could be on the verge of snapping, but it didn’t matter – they wouldn’t give up. They would rather break their arm. I remember holding these athletes in such high regard,…
Dec 20, 2013, 4:47 AM EST
Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching my Long Beach State 49ers beat USC (at least that’s what I did with part of my night)… Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. He led his team to an easy win and how about this for a line: 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting,…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:55 AM EST
When the Spurs rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili they still are pretty darn good. Ask the Heat — last year Gregg Popovich and the Spurs were fined $250,000 by the league for late notice resting the big three for a Thursday night showcase game in Miami. What people forget is the Spurs…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:22 AM EST
Golden State was the more talented team on the floor Thursday night, but they ended up on losing to a depleted Spurs team. Why? The penultimate possession summed up the game fairly well — tied 102-102 the Spurs got the ball to the guy with the hot hand (Marco Belinelli) and when he missed Boris…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:22 PM EST
Before the season began, an inter-conference matchup between the Thunder and the Bulls seemed like a tasty affair, and one that would be worthy of its mid-December nationally televised time slot. But after Derrick Rose once again went down for the season with an injury, and with Luol Deng missing this one with a sore…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:29 PM EST
Even with Kobe Bryant, the playoffs were a long shot for the Lakers this season — their defense was slipping, and their offense was not going to carry them far enough in a deep Western Conference. Kobe Bryant’s injury — out six weeks now with a fracture of tibial plateau in in his left knee…
Dec 19, 2013, 9:16 PM EST
Reeling from the latest injury to Kobe Bryant and with no healthy point guards able to return to action anytime soon, the Lakers signed a capable initiator of the offense from the D-League to bolster the team’s ever-eroding roster. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that L.A. has agreed to a deal with Kendall Marshall,…
Dec 19, 2013, 8:33 PM EST
The Pacers had targeted Friday’s nationally televised home contest against the Rockets for Danny Granger to make his season debut, and a week of practice has him on schedule to do just that. Indiana confirmed on Thursday that Granger will be back in the lineup versus Houston, but the team will be easing him in…
Dec 19, 2013, 7:19 PM EST
The news that Kobe Bryant would miss the next six weeks with a fractured bone in his left knee was not only devastating to a team decimated by injuries for the second straight season, but it could have taken an emotional toll on Bryant, as well. The league’s most fiery competitor was sidelined for eight…
Dec 19, 2013, 6:32 PM EST
Ersan Ilyasova has not been himself this season – the guy who averaged 13.2 points a game on 46.2 percent shooting and 44.4 percent from three last season is averaging 8.2 points a game on 38.3 percent shooing this season and 21.6 percent from three. His stats are like that across the board. To use…
Dec 19, 2013, 5:46 PM EST
Not that the Lakers were expecting Steve Nash to return like the cavalry charging over the mountain to save the day, but now we know for sure that is not happening. Steve Nash is going to be out at least another month, he announced to the media on Thursday afternoon. That announcement came at basically…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:32 PM EST
Gregg Popovich is making a habit of tempting fate. First, he confronted Stephen Jackson. Even if that was done in a joking manner – and it was – you can never be certain how Jackson will react. Now, the Spurs coach is challenging another one of the NBA’s most strong-willed figures: David Stern. Both Tim…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:14 PM EST
This is a punch to the gut. For the Lakers. And For Kobe Bryant. Kobe will be out six weeks with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, the Lakers announced. That is the basically the flat part of the top of the shin where it connects to the bottom of…
- Report: Bulls not looking to trade Luol Deng. Why would you think that? 0
- Kendrick Perkins tells Joakim Noah to “get your a– up out’ of Thunder locker room 16
- The Extra Pass: Chicago’s never-ending story, plus Thursday’s recaps 0
- No stars, no problem: Spurs reserves too much for Warriors in 104-102 win 5
- Kobe injury a reality check for Lakers, doesn’t really change plan 14
- Kobe Bryant is out six weeks with fracture in the left knee (58)
- Report: Heat have interest in Celtics’ Jordan Crawford (50)
- Pau Gasol expresses frustration with D’Antoni offense. Lakers have to think trade. (49)
- LeBron did foul Paul George on final shot but there was no call (VIDEO) (49)
- Mike D’Antoni to Pau Gasol: “There’s no reason to not play hard” (48)