In game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Indiana Pacers defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The Pacers, who lost their first two road games during the playoffs, have won two straight. Indiana’s defense was the highlight of the game, as the Pacers’ front court were the reason Carmelo Anthony had an off game and shot 10-28 from the field, amassed 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also sat on the bench for most of the third quarter, as the forward was in foul trouble early. Center Tyson Chandler only scored four points and grabbed three rebounds, as the center fouled out late in the fourth.
Roy Hibbert played like a star on Sunday, as the center scored 14 points, grabbed eight boards, and blocked five shots. David West added 20 points and two blocked shots, as the two big man were big factors. Paul George dropped 19 points though he only shot 5-14 shooting before fouling out.
The Knicks offense couldn’t hit a stride, as the Pacers team contended every shot. As a whole, the Knicks shot 43 percent, as only Raymond Felton found success, scoring 18 points on 8-12 shooting. J.R. Smith also shot poorly, as the Sixth Man of the Year shot 4-15 from the field adding 17 points and five rebounds.
For any chance at winning this series, the Knicks need a fast-pace offense and they need to make their threes.The team also needs to take smarter shots, as many of the shots taken today were off-balanced or well-contended. Coach Mike Woodson needs to work on some plays to get his players more open, because the Pacers will play tight defense all game. The Knicks also need Iman Shumpert to step up his game, as Chandler and Anthony are the main focal points for the Pacers defense.
Game two will still be in New York, as the Knicks will look to even the series back up.