Post-Game Grades: Pacers Win Ugly, Take 2-1 Series Lead Over Knicks
That’s how you play defense. Good job, best defensive team in the league. Getting back to self.
Roy Hibbert became Royzilla, stomping out Gotham’s finest while dominating the glass and establishing himself as the sole proprietor of the paint. What a game. He even joked about Paul George convincing him not to wear a monocle to his post-game press conference during his first-ever “podium game.”
It was an ugly affair. No hiding that. Neither team shot well. Neither team even shot acceptably. (35.2% for New York; 35.0% for Indiana.) But while the Knicks stayed wasting possessions with bad shots out of isolations, the Pacers milked a lot of clock and then extended possession by grabbing offensive boards. They ended up with 9 more shots than the Knicks and the three extra field goals they knocked down were essentially the difference.
Well, that and the three-point shooting.
There were a ton of threes taken by Indiana and next to none from New York, which was beyond odd. We’ll dig more into why that happened later. But it did, and it was the biggest reason for this sum-up-the-whole-game quote from Mike Woodson: “Offensively, we just didn’t have anything.”
They did not. Roy did.
End of discussion.
The Pacers are now up 2-1 in the series. Game 3 is Tuesday in Indiana. If they can play the same defense, they will be one step closer to the Eastern Conference Finals.
|David West, PF 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +13
Started the game making just one of his first six shots but was 3-of-5 after that, including an emphatic dunk that ended all possibility of a last-dash Knicks comeback.
|Paul George, SF 43 MIN | 4-17 FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 8 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 14 PTS | +17
The shots were errant to say the least, but he battled on ‘Melo all night and was active getting loose balls and deflections. Would like to see him in the post more. He tried to back down smalls when during mismatches, but either he wasn’t able to get good enough position or his teammates couldn’t get him the ball much.
|Roy Hibbert, C 40 MIN | 9-18 FG | 6-7 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +20
“I think this is his best playoff game ever, probably,” said Frank Vogel after the game. No probably about it. He abused the Knicks on the offensive glass, and their coach, Mike Woodson, agreed with his Indiana peer, calling Hibbert the best player on the floor tonight. He controlled Game 1 by protecting the rim; tonight he owned the oppositie goal.
|George Hill, PG 41 MIN | 5-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +14
His below-33% shooting might jump out as yikes city, but all five of his makes were from behind the arc. He drilled two big ones early in the game to give Indiana a nice cushion and get the crowd rowdy. He then hit another to start the second half, giving the team and fans confidence again at a critical part of the game.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 34 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +2
Did some things well, but also didn’t seem to be aggressive enough. I feel like he should try to break down guys like Jason Kidd off the bounce when that matchup occurs. Didn’t play in the final 10 minutes, which was strange as Vogel went with DJ Augustin instead. Lance seemed a little fidgety watching his teammates close it out, standing on the end of the bench looking ready to check in.
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -4
Didn’t produce much but seemed to play better overall than he has in a few playoff games when he has scored more.
|Sam Young, SF 7 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +6
Played 7 minutes.
|Ian Mahinmi, C 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -7
Wasn’t bad, but wasn’t needed much as Roy played most of the game.
|Ben Hansbrough, PG 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3
|D.J. Augustin, PG 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0
Played the entire fourth quarter. Did so well. In November, if you would have told me that would happen I would have said good one but April fools was last month.