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Good news: Knicks play much better. Bad news: Still not good enough to beat Pacers.

Nov 20, 2013, 10:58 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks Getty Images

If you tried to use the words “moral victory” in the Knicks locker room Wednesday night the players’ reactions would have ranged from icy glares to a rant that would have earned them the same fine for swearing Boston’s Gerald Wallace was just given by the league.

There are no moral victories in the NBA. Especially not when you have lost six straight on your home court.

Especially not when you came within a borderline foul on Paul George as he shot a three in the final seconds of regulation, giving him the chance to tie the game at the free throw line (which he did). Despite the Knicks protestations, replays showed Iman Shumpert lightly touched George on the elbow and that was enough to get the call.

In the end a moral victory is how the Knicks are going to have to look at their 103-96 loss to the Pacers in overtime in Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. It’s their only option.

There certainly were positives for the Knicks to take away from this game — the 13-0 run to start the game, the 19 points from Beno Udrih (forced into the rotation with Raymond Felton out), the energy they put out on defense, the fact the way they played would probably have beaten 26 other NBA teams. Just not the Pacers on three days rest.

Still, a at the end of the day the Knicks are 3-8 and about to head out on a rough West Coast road trip that includes the Trail Blazers and Clippers.

New York started out hot, holding the Pacers to 14 points on 25 percent shooting in the first quarter. Yet the Knicks couldn’t pull away against the always tough Pacers defense, scoring just 19 points on 34.8 percent shooting themselves.

On the second night of a back-to-back, the Knicks looked more and more tired and their defense wore down as the game went on. The Pacers put up 31 points on 52.6 percent shooting, plus hit 4-of-8 from three, in the final quarter.

Once again the Pacers defense took away the shots the Knicks wanted to get — New York shot just 46.9 percent inside the restricted area and 40.9 percent in the paint overall, plus they were 8-of-30 (26.7 percent from three).

Carmelo Anthony had 30 points on 10-of-28 shooting, but where you could really see his effort was on the boards — 18 rebounds, nine of them offensive. He tried to carry this team, but he doesn’t have the efficient game at both ends of the floor to take them as far as he wants.

‘Melo was outplayed by Paul George, who had 35 points on 12-of-26 shooting and was 7-of-11 in the fourth quarter and overtime, at one point scoring 11 straight points. Plus his defense was part of the reason it was another inefficient night shooting for Melo.

George hill added 23 and the Pacers are now 10-1. They are a team with an identity on both ends of the court.

The Knicks took a step toward finding that Wednesday but they still have a ways to go.

  1. ramrodmclean - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Yes or No: Melo opts out after this season?

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      He will certainly opt out. That does not mean he leaves the Knicks.

  2. floridascuba1 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Knicks should’ve fouled with 5.2 sec’s and kept it at a Free Throw battle. Instead, they Paul attempt a 3pt and fouled him.

  3. odenxx - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Why don’t you write about how the refs screwed us? Now that would be some real reporting!knick hater!

    • knightrider1755 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Knicks are a joke! Hate on that.

    • fanofevilempire - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      the officials should be beaten, they were horrible and the Knicks started complaing.
      Melo gets NO respect on foul calls.
      I’m starting to become disinterested in sports, the money has ruined ALL sports, even College.

      • casualcommenter - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        …Yeah, an unknown player like Carmelo Anthony playing for a small-market team like the New York Knicks has no chance of getting “respect” from the referees when up against a wealthy, big-market team like the Indiana Pacers because the NBA is money hungry.

        Money is ruining sports!

  4. jolink653 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    So Paul George gets a fingertip to the elbow and that’s enough to draw a foul on a three pointer with five seconds left (even though it had no influence on his shot), but Carmelo gets chest bumped by George on his shot at the buzzer and that’s not enough to draw a call…yeah, that’s fair…and the Knicks are good enough to beat the Pacers, who really weren’t that impressive against a lineup featuring no actual center for the Knicks…put Chandler back in there and I’m confident the Knicks win

    • metalhead65 - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      stop whining cry babies. if that had been melo getting the call you would have been all he shouldn’t have touched him. just because you are the knicks does not mean things go your way. try winning first before you start demanding respect and calls. your team and so called superstar suck deal with it!

    • knightrider1755 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Chandler would’ve been manhandled by Hibbert like last season. Stop dreamin’.

  5. vriv950 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    I am a Knicks fan, but it is what it is. There were many positives to this loss so that’s the bright side of it. The foul on George was called but Melo still had a chance to put the game away… And once again fails, idk what it is about him but when the pressure is on he crumbles.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      You are one of those morons who calls into Francesa saying that Melo can never win a title regardless of who he plays with, I’m sure.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    I am done with this league and the crooked slanting of games by officials. I hadn’t been here all summer and most of the first week or so of the season, because I’m not even really watching games. We’ve gotten screwed three straight playoffs by officiating, culminating with that JOKE of a series vs. Indiana where they shot 60 more free throws in the final three games, despite our guys being in the lane all night getting smacked, while morons continue to parrot the “But they’re just a jump shooting team!”

    You barely enter George’s (or whoever we’re playing against, because it’s been the case in 5 of the 7 losses) “three feet of space,” whether you touch them or not, and they go to the line. I saw CJ Watson and George Hill (or you can insert the BUMS on any of the teams we play and have the same effect) get more respect from the officials than Carmelo Anthony gets.

    Shumpert might — MIGHT have grazed George on that shot (although it was so far off because he was trying to sell the call by flailing his right arm), but Melo came down on the final play of regulation and got body blocked like he was playing defensive end or something, and there’s no call. That’s the summary of his treatment by the officials since he got to New York and I’ve just had enough. We’ve had five games stolen from us in the final moments due to this ridiculous officiating. I refuse to get my blood pressure up in November, and I’m not going to be tuning in during May and have to sit through watching them rob us again like they have the past three postseasons.

    • legend30 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      Or maybe it’s because Knicks second option is J.R. Smith. And James Dolan is the owner.

    • milkman1989 - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:07 AM


      1. You will not be missed

      2. You WERE a jumpshooting team last playoffs that is no discussion and SMART TEAMS DON’T FOUL ON JUMP SHOTS. The pacers playing style is banging in the paint, mid range, these shots create fouls. You are the moron for thinking otherwise.

      3. The knicks would be LUCKY to have C.J Watson and George Hill. If you are calling them bums, you know absolutely nothing.

      4. You have Chris Smith on your team

      5. Shumpert 100% fouled Paul George

      6. Carmelo created the contact on his drive and was not jumped into. No foul.

      7. The officiated has nothing to do with the 5 games you mention, the knicks have just been ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.

      8. Your ownership is robbing you in the post season not the refs.

      9. If you read all this, apologies :)

    • drewzducks - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      Yeah, cuz the NBA would profit more by having a team from Indiana advance over a team from NYC. at least you continually and consistently show everyone you stupidity on this site.

      • drewzducks - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:12 AM


      • fanofevilempire - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        that has nothing to do with bad officiating where half the time the official is out of position or behind the play in which they call a foul.

    • dexterismyhero - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      So we won’t have to read your crying & whining posts anymore? Awesome!!!


      • casualcommenter - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Yeah, unfortunately, I’m 100% sure he’ll be back.

        He does a, “I’m done watching the NBA because of the obvious bias against small-markets teams like my favorite team, the New York Knicks, and my second favorite team, the LA Lakers” rant 4-5 times per season, but he always comes back.

    • buttfumbles - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Delusional Knicks fan

  7. antistratfordian - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Oh boy – Knicks fans and their tears. Look, the Knicks aren’t very good right now – especially at home. This is not news. They need Chandler for their defense. Tis what it tis.

    The Pacers caught a big break on the road – and they’re going to need that because their upcoming road schedule is pretty brutal.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      If it were only that simplistic. People like you are beyond annoying.

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:46 AM

        Well Mr. Wrong,

        To you it is simplistic. To you, it’s the refs who have screwed you out of 5 games so far just this season.

        To you, they screwed you in the playoffs last yr against the Pacers.

        Don’t call out others for being simplistic when you are more simplistic than others. To you, it’s the refs and that’s it.

        I’m GLAD you will NOT be tuning in to watch anymore, maybe you’ll stay off of this site too then.

    • kinggw - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      Normally, i’d be with you but the Knicks and their fans have a legitimate gripe tonight. Whether they are good right now is irrelevant.

      Pacers players were seemingly getting home court calls while Melo appeared to be drawing contact and yet got no calls. I know the Pacers are a great defensive team, but they weren’t that good tonight.

      If your going to call touch fouls do it both ways. You can make the argument that Melo didnt get some of the calls in the paint because the refs were letting them play. That’s fine but you can’t let the game be decided by a ticky tack call. Shumpert barely touched George and didnt seem to affect his shot. You dont call a foul when the game is in the balance unless it obvious. Knicks fans have a right to be pissed.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:51 AM

        Normally, i’d be with you but the Knicks and their fans have a legitimate gripe tonight.

        Of COURSE they do. What losing team doesn’t?

        George was hit on his arm in the act of shooting. You can see it clear as day. You can’t do that. You’re not even supposed to get that close to a three point shooters arm in that situation. So if you actually touch him on the arm while he’s shooting you deserve to get punished for it because it’s very… stupid (for lack of a better word).

        Now, if Melo was also hit on the arm in the act of shooting he would’ve also drawn a whistle. But Melo was not touched while shooting. In fact, George flopped on the final play trying to draw an offensive foul so Melo got a shot off almost entirely uncontested – it just didn’t go in.

        There’s no more to the story than that.

  8. cbking05 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    The Knicks need to stop playing that New York basketball … It hasn’t worked in decades!

  9. milkman1989 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Knicks fans are great. Lets not moan about shumpert committing a brain dead foul (A DEFINITE FOUL) but instead lets moan about the refs screwing you over. How many times does a 3 point shot get blocked?!?! Why even give the referee the chance to make a call, If George makes the shot he makes the shot, you live with it.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 21, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    I’ve had a lot of fun at Mr Wright and his boy CB13’s expense over the past few years, and Wright’s paranoia over the refs being anti-NY is legendary.

    But in this case he’s right. If you’re going to call that foul on Shumpert, you have to call one on Indy on Melo’s end of regulation shot.

    But Melo’d probably have missed both FTs anyway (couldn’t resist).

    Anyway, LOVE that the Pacers are loudly demanding, and getting, top billing across the hoops world this year. Very tough to overcome self-imposed pressure. Talking 1 seed and home court in the ECFs in November is all fun and games, until you aren’t the 1 seed anymore (inevitable),. Then, when you’ve failed to accomplish the goal you’ve set for yourself, you’ve already mentally lost.

    Beat a +500 team and score 100 (in regulation) first.

    • dexterismyhero - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      You are a deuce in a toilet. Not their fault how the schedule is setup. The Heat have lost to 3 sub .500 teams btw.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:44 AM

        But it is their fault about how much they’re talking. Long season. And even though the Heat aren’t playing for the 1 seed, they’re still going to get it. Then what?

        “Deuce in a toilet”? Good thing I’m not Jonathan Martin or I’d tell on you for that.

    • dexterismyhero - Nov 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      OMG, teams talking about wanting to get a #1 seed! Agree it is a long season, but you brought up the “beat a team with a + .500 record”. I was responding to that.

      Sorry about the deuce comment. Please don’t tell. Will I get punished by KH for bullying?

    • bougin89 - Nov 21, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Nobody talked more than the Heat before they won any rings. What have the Pacers said that has been so overly offensive? That they think it’s their time to dominate their division? That their goal is to get the #1 seed(they might need it to beat the Heat in the playoffs…)?

      • casualcommenter - Nov 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        1972wasalongtimeago is a Heat troll.

        Various Heat players have announced before EVERY season that their goal is an NBA championship and anything less than that is complete failure, yet he’s “calling out” other teams like the Pacers for saying, “We’re hoping to earn the #1 seed.”

        In his mind, it’s okay for Bosh to say, “Championship or bust,” but Paul George can’t say, “I really hope we get the #1 seed to guarantee homecourt in the playoffs”?

        That’s how you know he’s a troll – the hypocrisy/lack of awareness in his statements.

  11. valeb2012 - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    I feel like some people are missing an important difference in the two kinds of contact fouls: touching a shooter’s arm on an attempt versus body contact in the paint. Contact with body is OFTEN permissible on a shot in the paint when the shot is part back-down move and the shooter has his back turned. Contact on a shooter’s arm (elbow, wrist, fore) is never permitted on a jumpshot. It’s not always called, but if a ref sees it, it’s called. If a ref saw the Shumpert taps to PG’s elbow and wrist, he calls it (as he did). It’s an easier call. The Melo backdown is a tougher call. Just saying.

  12. cruzan80 - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    I took two things away from this game. First, the Knicks aren’t as bad as their record. That same effort with Tyson Chandler in the line-up & the Knicks win. It’s gonna take a lil time with this team & as long as they don’t feed into the media BS by firing the coach or making some dumb trade, they should have their issues ironed out by January. 3-8 in the NBA is like 1-3 in the NFL. The biggest problem so far is the fact they reside under the microscope of New York. If this were any other city, their early struggles wouldn’t even be news.

    Second, the Pacers aren’t as good as their record. 6 of their 10 wins have come against the Magic, Pelicans, Pistons, Cavs, Raptors & Bucks. Only 2 of their wins have come against a team with a winning record (Bulls & Grizzles). A Bulls team with a Derek Rose who’s been getting better as the season progresses humbled them a couple nights ago & a depleted Knicks team just took them into OT. I know the media is ready to anoint George as the next “super star” (which he will be in my opinion) in this league but this team has been more a product of its very soft schedule so far rather than George’s “greatness”.

    • bougin89 - Nov 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      “Second, the Pacers aren’t as good as their record. 6 of their 10 wins have come against the Magic, Pelicans, Pistons, Cavs, Raptors & Bucks. Only 2 of their wins have come against a team with a winning record (Bulls & Grizzles). A Bulls team with a Derek Rose who’s been getting better as the season progresses humbled them a couple nights ago & a depleted Knicks team just took them into OT.”

      What were they suppose to do? Lose those games? Opponents do matter, but a win is a win. Would you say they just weren’t trying if they started out 7-4? This team was one of 4 remaining teams standing last year and their best player and bench have improved a lot.

      • cruzan80 - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        My comment is in response to the hype this team got going into this game last night. Kurt Helin, the very author of this article is quoted yesterday saying “Wednesday night the Knicks get the Pacers — the team with the best defense in the league. Cover your children’s eyes, they don’t need to see that.” This was supposed to be a beat down of some sorts at the hands of the Pacers because of how amazing they are & how awful the Knicks are.

        My point was simply that after watching the actual game….neither in my opinion were true. Of course they are supposed to try & win every game….but as you said yourself…the opponent does matter & even though the majority of their wins have come against sub-.500 teams, it didn’t stop everyone & their mama predicting a massacre at the Garden. The actual game however proved otherwise.

  13. mcsuave - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    I’m a Knick fan and I feel it was a case of poor coaching. He should have been fouled before the shot and put on the line.

    • bougin89 - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Agreed, why are coaches so afraid to put a guy on the line and only get 2 free throw attempts? It’s a strategy that looks like it would have clearly worked here.

  14. alexb1234 - Nov 21, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Bottom line, Shumpert got a finger nail on George’s elbow and there was a foul(Only Joey Crawford makes that call) – Then Melo was bodied by George on his last second shot and there was no call…..I’m not saying the refs have a personal vendetta against the Knicks but that was some BS. If you can’t see that the refs made two bad calls there then you’re either a Knick hater or a Pacer homer.

  15. valeb2012 - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Is it decided that fouling in this situation is the best play? Would appreciate a link to a study, any study.

    • casualcommenter - Nov 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      It varies from coach to coach.

      If I have a good, disciplined defensive team, and I’m up against a bad 3-point shooting team, I wouldn’t foul intentionally. I’d trust my guys to defend the possession, and I’d trust the other team to miss that shot.

      If I have a not-so-great defensive team, and I’m against a good 3-point shooting team, I would foul intentionally. I wouldn’t want the other team to get a good look from 3.

      The Knicks are a bad team defensively, but the Pacers aren’t a great 3-point shooting team, so it was a 50-50 call in my opinion. Woodson decided to trust his guys to play disciplined defense for a final possession, but unfortunately, Shumpert not only committed a foul, but he also fouled a guy in the act of shooting a 3-pointer.

  16. jbeagles23 - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Officials are too old to ref the nba. They struggle getting up and down the court at the pace of the players

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