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Small ball, no George Hill, enough for Knicks to win, stave off elimination

May 16, 2013, 11:37 PM EST

New York Knicks' Chris Copeland celebrates a basket in the second half with his teammate Carmelo Anthony during the Knicks' 85-75 win over the Indiana Pacers' in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series in New York Reuters

The Knicks didn’t solve the Pacers defense Thursday night. New York made some good little runs — with George Hill out for Indiana Raymond Felton was getting into the lane and making things happen more often, plus Chris Copeland showed why he should get more run — but overall the Knicks scored a pedestrian 85 points and shot just 41 percent. They had 12 assists on 32 baskets, so it wasn’t amazing ball movement.

But it was enough.

It was a night when the Pacers went cold — a lot of that had to do with Hill’s absence, but the Pacers were 19-of-33 at the free throw line, too —and the Knicks went back to small ball, which worked. Solid Knicks defense and a few more made baskets led to a comfortable 85-75 Knicks win in Game 5.

That makes the series 3-2 Pacers heading back to Indiana Saturday night for Game 6. That will be the Pacers stand — they do not want a Game 7 in Madison Square Garden (it would be Monday night).

Hill, the Pacers starting point guard, was a surprise scratch with a concussion, something he suffered in the first quarter of Game 4 (he played through i shooting 9-of-14). Hill’s status is up in the air for Game 6. Under NBA concussion policy he has to pass a series of tests after increasing levels of physical activity. The team doctor has to consult with a league neurologist before he is cleared to play.

If he can’t play Saturday it could be rough because the Pacers offense is not the same without him.

D.J. Augustin got the start and was 3-of-9 with zero assists. Gerald Green got some run at the point and he was a mess. It really all fell to Paul George, who had a respectable 23 points and 6 assists.

However, as a team the Pacers shot just 36.2 percent and had 19 turnovers. Credit some of that to a Knicks defense playing with the desperate energy of a team that didn’t want to be eliminated. J.R. Smith had a chasing down Augustin on a breakaway, Tyson Chandler not giving away dunks, there was good all around energy from the Knicks. But the Pacers just missed a lot of shots they can usually make (David West has been doing that all series).

New York got some better offense from key guys. J.R. Smith started out 3-of-5 shooting (but went 1-of-6 after that). Carmelo Anthony hit some key buckets and had 28 points, but needed a very Carmelo 28 shots to get them. Felton was much improved without Hill harassing him.

But Chris Copeland was the star off the bench. Why coach Mike Woodson went away from him at times this series is a mystery because they are just better when he is on the floor — 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 3-of-4 from three. He’s called “I Get Buckets” for a reason.

The Knicks also showed some fight missing before in this series. In the second half the Knicks would have a lead around 10 and the Pacers consistently would push it down — and each time the Knicks made a little run back. The lead was down to three, New York went on an 8-2 run. The lead came back down to 4 and the Knicks ran off six straight.

Everything worked a little better for the Knicks… well, except Jason Kidd. It’s nine straight games since he scored (since before the NFL draft, to give you a time frame) and he was 0-for-1 in this game when he missed a layup.

Back home in Indiana Saturday, expect the Pacers to shoot a little better at home — they will put up more points, with or without George Hill. We will see if the Knicks have another level in their offensive game to come back home for a deciding game.

  1. eventhorizon04 - May 16, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Interesting game.

    Some keys to the Knicks’ win were…playing small (true to their identity) and yet finishing with near equal number of rebounds (43 by Indy versus 40 for the Knicks), giving more time to Copeland and Prigioni (and less to Kidd), getting Hibbert and George (the Pacers’ two best players) into foul trouble, and George Hill not being around to defend Felton (which allowed Felton to have one of his better games).

    The Pacers have been a different team on the road compared to at home for awhile, and the Knicks still haven’t been able to get either JR Smith or Carmelo on track against the Pacers, but for now, the Knicks live for another game. I thought Woodson’s adjustments were sound, yet the Pacers still could have won this game if they hadn’t missed 14 free throws, so I still favor the Pacers going forward.

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 6:45 AM

      all good points, the refs were awful.
      all knickerbockers need is for shots to fall.
      we need Felton to drive to teacup.
      can we get novak some game time, I think it can open it up.
      we live another day……

    • polonelmeagrejr - May 17, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      Paul George’s game was more than respectable. That guy is really good. Had me concerned at times.

  2. egickvengeance7x - May 17, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Reblogged this on egickvengeance and commented:
    Hill, enough for Knicks to win, stave off elimination

    • bigmeechy74 - May 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I didn’t even bother reading this article. I was just waiting for the reblog to egickvengeance. Finally!

  3. yousuxxors - May 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    they actually hustle and get rebounds and win … they have to keep that up. they kept giving them second third fourth chance points and the pacers made them pay in the losses. let’s see if they can keep this up … I doubt it.

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      good thing Barkley and TNT guys noticed that Melo wasn’t playing with passion, they
      turned up the passion in the second half.

      why can’t they just let me watch my msg rather then listening to these guys.
      who on TNT had Memphis now?

  4. jamesmichaelworm - May 17, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Indiana’s last three games shooting percentage 31,32,35 they didn’t go cold just tonight without hill that offense is pretty horrid

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      Thank you. I don’t know what it will take for some objectivity here. Hill is no legend. Yes, his absence shortens the bench and affects SOME of what they do with defense, but he is not some savant defensively like people are making him out to be. The Pacers looked virtually no different offensively tonight than they did in the previous three games. The Knicks’ defense is just as good as the Pacers, but the Knicks have more guys who can actually make shots than the Pacers do. This should be the focus going forward, not ALL about “Indiana’s ‘stifling’ defense” and JR Smith’s travails off the court.

      Melo needed 28 shots and didn’t shoot his first FTs until 9 minutes left in the game? Despite being hacked on several drives and a couple of his jumpers? Right.

      • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 7:01 AM

        Melo hasn’t gotten any respect as far as fouls, every time
        he drives he is fouled that is why he shoots the jumpers
        because he gets hacked.

        they do managed to call offensive fouls on Melo.

      • jaerba - May 17, 2013 at 8:38 AM

        Oh, he’s back.

        I’ll ignore the comment about the Knicks’ defense being as good as Indiana’s and just say that Carmelo committed 2 offensive fouls in a row last night, including an elbow to Sam Young’s face, without a call. We know it’s the only thing you like to do (despite claiming otherwise) but seriously, shut up about the refs. They took Hibbert out of the game early in the second half with cheap calls.

        The Knicks had more fouls because they don’t play disciplined defense and are prone to reach ins. Next you’re going to tell us there’s a conspiracy to have Indiana advance over New York.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        I have never seen a dude make so many excuses.

      • pglive21 - May 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        Knicks defense as good as the Pacers? You are delusional. The Pacers failed in this game because they couldn’t execute on offense, they were tripping over their own feet. DJ Augustin is a joke as a starting pg and the Pacers have no viable backup. For some reason Vogel decided to play Sam Young and give G. Green big minutes and nothing to Orlando Johnson.

        Hill isn’t a legend but he’s a good scorer, much better defensively than Felton and can rotate onto two guards without giving up much defensively. Augustin just gets worked over by whoever he ends up guarding.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        84.1 PPG in the playoffs is best in the league.

        88.7 PPG is what the Pacers defend.

        You fools are the delusional ones.

  5. jamesmichaelworm - May 17, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    And yes Paul George is young and he’s a stat stuffer but he isn’t a guy to lead your team with all those turnovers and poor shooting and miscues at the foul line…he’s a complimentary piece

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      the refs were awful, how about that magical 4th foul on Tyson, even Reggie called it.
      you must be blind and deaf about the fact the Melo went to the line in the 3rd qtr @
      9 min mark, are you really kidding, how about hw many times JR was knocked down.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        How about the magical #4 & #5 on Roy. The make up calls? You are making excuses as well.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Is George Hill now Isiah Thomas or prime Jason Kidd or something and I missed it? Yeah, he had the game of his LIFE in Game 4, but the built in excuses are a joke. The Pacers struggle to score regardless. That’s why you can’t consider it to be a stretch that the Knicks win Game 6 and 7 as well. For all the talk of Indiana’s defense, the more than half of the Knicks’ missed FGs have been very good open looks, not hotly contested jump shots like the talking heads make it appear. You can only hold down a team for so long when there are 4-5 guys who can get you 15+, while the other team can only boast two guys who can CONSISTENTLY even score that many per game.

    For all the woes that the Knicks have had with juggling lineups and what not, the bottom line is that they’ve had tons of good looks that didn’t drop. They are due for a breakout game. And maybe two. There is intrigue for Saturday, regardless of whether Hill plays or not.

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      how is it Melo commits so many offensive fouls, that is ridiculous…………
      how many and ones for Pacers, Knickerbockers get NO calls.
      how many bunnies have we missed?

      • pglive21 - May 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        You are delusional. The refs were calling stuff tight on the Pacers all night long, how do you think Hibbert and George ended up in foul trouble? You need to grow another set of eyes cause the pair you have don’t work.

    • remmsterr - May 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      But Hill is THEIR Thomas or Kidd; he’s their point guard – their QB on the floor. Hill was playing great defense on Felton through the first couple of games. What happened when. Hill wasn’t on the court? Augustin got destroyed by Felton. That’s what got the ball rolling. Plus, Hill’s averaging 18 PPG throughout the series. Taking 18 points off of a team that doesn’t score that much is a HUGE deal. And the Knicks only dropped 85 points; you’re talking like they dropped 100+. The Pacers played good enough defense to keep it close until the end. I’m sorry but I think you’re out of your lane on this one.

  7. badintent - May 17, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Yes Kurt, David West has been missing a ton of shots. Maybe that guy guarding him that “experts ” say plays no defense on him HAS been playing tough defense on him Some guy named Mel.l
    OK, now that we found out no one on the Pacers can guard Chris, let him put up 20 shots and see him go for 30+.Pacers thought they were Shaq and shot like him at the line.Knicks do have to stop missing layups, make half a dozen of them and this game is a blowout.
    Knicks bench outscored Pacers 35-10. That’s winning basketball. Lets go Amare and Chris , the New Twin Towers. !!

  8. pantsfreezone - May 17, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Neither of these teams has the firepower to go toe to toe with the Miami Heat, but the Pacers will put this one away at home, in 6 just like I predicted, because the Knicks aren’t going to get the calls they got tonight on the road. Indy was in foul trouble and relying on the terrible DJ Augustine to run the point and they still almost pulled off the upset.

    If Hill is done for the playoffs/series, Indy needs to find someone else to run the offense. Ughustine is horrible.

    • 1972sxwife - May 17, 2013 at 6:39 AM

      STFU idiot

      • pantsfreezone - May 17, 2013 at 6:58 AM

        Clever. How do you cope with the fact that Hostess no longer makes the one thing you live for? The Twinkie, like the Knicks, is finished.

      • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 7:02 AM

        I agree.

      • yankees218 - May 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        Actually the Twinkie is coming back, so that actually doesn’t work…

    • remmsterr - May 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Yes; exactly. DJ was abused by Felton on the offensive end and shut down on the defensive end. DJ can’t play defense and can’t do the one thing he’s suppose to do – assist. I feel like the combo of DJ getting bullied on both ends and Stevenson forcing horrible shots all night and going 1-7 for 4 points (he was DEF. amped off of his last game) doomed the Pacers. Good thing for the Pacers, though, is that they hung around the entire game despite all of that. If DJ can actually play like a half way decent starting PG and Stevenson let’s the game come to him instead of jacking up bad shots, the Pacers can close this out without Hill.

  9. supremekingz - May 17, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    I don’t think George Hill had anything to do with it. Ticky tack fouls keeping Hibbert out spoiled any possible momentum.

    I’m not saying the refs cheated, but they called ticky tack fouls both ways and the game became a snooze fest with everyone in trouble.

  10. jamesmichaelworm - May 17, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    Ummm Indiana foul disparity on the road was far greater than the Knicks

  11. jamesmichaelworm - May 17, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    30 fouls for NY 18 on Indiana

    • stlouis1baseball - May 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Sure. When one team plays straight up…in your face defense and the other one reaches and slaps you will have that. It also explains the Pacers being the aggressor and getting to the line.

  12. rickyspanish - May 17, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    I wish the Thunder with a healthy Westbrook and the Knicks were in the same conference so we could watch those two teams duke it out for seven games, that would be fun on a bun. Boston and Indiana make almost every game boring no matter who they play.

  13. kavika6 - May 17, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Chandler is the MVP of this game for his “accidental” elbow to Hill’s head in the last game. If you don’t have the talent, play dirty.

  14. turnmymicup - May 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Heat vs Knicks would be such a better eastern conference finals. Alot of ppl want IND to advance just bcuz they gave the Heat trouble last year. Id rather see another saga of the MIA/NY rivalry. For the newer NBA fans not familiar check out the older games (gotta love youtube). I’m not just a Heat fan I’m a fan of the game. NY would be way more entertaining to watch.

    • dexterismyhero - May 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Go drink a smoothie please.

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      wtf do you do in Indy, worst super bowl ever?……Indy

      • stlouis1baseball - May 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Actually…named one of the best ever. If you did your homework you would know that.

    • pglive21 - May 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      It wouldn’t be a rivalry it would be an obliteration. If the Knicks somehow pulled out this series it would be Heat in 4, all victory margins likely in double digits.

  15. miaheater - May 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    The Knicks are just prolonging the inevitable…..

  16. bigmeechy74 - May 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I used to think coaches were smart. But after watching the mind bogglingly stupid decisions that football coaches make, and then watching Scott Brooks give a ton of minutes to Kendrick Perkins, and in this series seeing Jason Kidd inexplicably get run while copeland rots on the bench, I realize that a lot of coaches simply lack common sense. (yeah I know that was a run-on sentence. Sue me.)

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      I remember when they said Perkins would have stopped Kobe from beating Boston.
      That was so funny.

      • bigmeechy74 - May 17, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        To be fair, Perkins has gotten a lot worse. But yeah that is absurd that he would ever be considered a factor against Kobe Bryant.

      • infectorman - May 17, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        I know right. everyone knows it was Stern.

  17. alexb1234 - May 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Did George Hill turn into Chris Paul or something? This guy is a below average point guard who can hit an open 3 – that is all. The Knicks are down in this series because they are shooting like crap. If the Knicks knock down shots they win this series….it’s that simple. Indy is NOT that good.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Chris Paul? No…he’s just a far better defender.

      If the Pacers weren’t such a great defensive team the Knicks would knock down shots…it’s that simple.

      There…fixed that for you.

    • ceschatz - May 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      alexb1234 – May 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM
      Did George Hill turn into Chris Paul or something? This guy is a below average point guard who can hit an open 3 – that is all. The Knicks are down in this series because they are shooting like crap. If the Knicks knock down shots they win this series….it’s that simple. Indy is NOT that good.
      ________________________________________________________________________________

      “The Knicks are down in this series because they are shooting like crap”

      So the Knicks have one of the best shooters in the league and you blame it on them “shooting like crap”? How about giving IND defense some credit.

      • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        I blame the refs!

    • remmsterr - May 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      Why do ppl keep saying dumb statements like this? Hill is THEIR Chris Paul. He’s a main cog in their machine. He played good D on Felton and knocked down timely shots. Its good to know that your definition of a below average PG is one who averages 18 PPG throughout a playoff series. I wonder what that makes Felton? A horrible PG?

    • pglive21 - May 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      If Hill is below average then what does that make Felton? Oh that’s right, borderline useless.

    • pacersfan1 - May 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Knick fans cry more then a bunch of girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Saturday the pacers will send your one man show fishing and all you girls can watch your crappy football teams. NEW YORK SUCKS AND SO DOES THERE FANS. GO PACERS!!!

      • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        you sound like a little girl who loves crying at Bieber concerts, do you faint as well.

  18. jbeagles23 - May 17, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    These teams are awful.

    • infectorman - May 17, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      Heat will beat NY in no more than 5 and Indy no more than 6.

      Knicks have limited game in the scoring AND coaching dept, shut down the Linebacker, uh, I mean Melo, frustrate him, make him take jumpshots and Miami is guaranteed in the final….

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        So the Heat have this magical extra gear and bag of tricks that will stop them from getting beat at the things the Knicks beat them at all season?

        That’s rich.

      • infectorman - May 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        Bye Bye Knock offs.

        Come back with a real team next year

  19. dysraw1 - May 17, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    our survival is deep this next one should be a doozy, i hope everybody is ready

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