Skip to content

Carmelo Anthony has played 105 of his 108 minutes against Paul George and/or Roy Hibbert

May 12, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three Getty Images

During the regular season, Paul George manned the perimeter and Roy Hibbert patrolled the interior to help the Pacers finish first in defensive rating. Only the Grizzlies, with Marc Gasol and Tony Allen, had two players place higher in Defensive Player of the Year voting than Indiana did with George (eighth) and Roy Hibbert (tenth).

But facing the inside-outside threat that is Carmelo Anthony, the league’s top scorer, has created a unique challenge for the Pacers.

Hibbert revealed a little insight into how Indiana is handling Melo. Via Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated:

“You see the minutes — Paul played 43, I played 40 — it’s the most I’ve played in playoffs,” said Hibbert. “Coach said whenever Melo was in the game, me and Paul were going to be out there. When Melo checks back in, me and Paul go back in. We want to crowd him and make things as difficult as possible for him.”

Melo has played 96:30 against both Hibbert and George, 7:42 against just George and another 0:50 against just Hibbert. That leaves only 2:43 that Melo has played in this series with neither George nor Hibbert on the floor.

George swarms Melo near the arc, preventing him from attempting 3-pointers. Just 14 percent of Melo’s field-goal attempts in this series have been 3-pointers, down from 28 percent in the regular season.

Hibbert bothers Melo in the paint, where Melo’s shooting percentage has fallen from 51 in the regular season to 35 percent in this series.

With nowhere else to turn, Melo is taking a higher percentage of his shots from mid-range – a definite win for the Pacers. Melo’s scoring rate shows how large the impact of Indiana’s defensive tandem has been:

  • Melo against Hibbert and George: 69 points in 96:30
  • Melo against one or neither: 11 points in 11:19

How should Melo counter? Keep plugging.

He’s still averaging 26.7 points per game in this series, and even if he’s shooting just 40 percent when facing both Hibbert and George, other Knicks aren’t better equipped to score on the Pacers’ defense.

And maybe Melo can win a war of attrition. George is used to playing so much, but Hibbert is not. Maybe Melo can outlast at least one of the two, more likely Hibbert, and finally get some clean looks at the basket.

  1. realninerfan22 - May 12, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Real MVP right there!

  2. erckle31 - May 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    The Pacers are so underrated and I’m kinda glad they don’t get as much attention as some of the other teams get. Just makes it all the more satisfying when they win.

  3. mendenhallfumblemachine - May 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    They are done regardless if JR Smith doesn’t come out from hiding.

  4. bux1022 - May 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    7 game series! Heard the same bs in the Boston series. We’ll see after this one over!

  5. acdc363 - May 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I hope that dude that voted for Melo has been watching the playoffs LOL

  6. bucrightoff - May 12, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Pacers-Grizzlies = David Stern on suicide watch

  7. jbeagles23 - May 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    If melo has the iq of lebron they could win. Accept the fact they are using so much energy on you and swing the ball. I’d rather him put up 20 points and 10 assists then 30 points on 30 shots

  8. supremekingz - May 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Awwww poor Melo. Maybe he should *gulp* pass?

  9. goodfellas17 - May 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Did you mean Pacers+Grizzlies= Stern on suicide watch? That would have made more sense…meaning both teams. Go Pacers!

  10. jbeagles23 - May 12, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Hope you guy are talkin about a Griz pacers game next regular season

    • melkipershero - May 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      I dont think you get what theyre saying. They arent calling a Grizz vs Pacers finals. Just saying those two teams leading their series probably has Stern on edge.

  11. jbeagles23 - May 12, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    I got what their saying I don’t see either team making it to the finals

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2437)
  2. K. Irving (1936)
  3. L. James (1795)
  4. K. Bryant (1674)
  5. A. Davis (1599)