The New York Knicks enter game 2 against the Indiana Pacers looking to gather themselves after a disappointing home loss in game 1 on Sunday.
From the opening tip it was apparent that the Indiana Pacers size was going to give the Knicks problems. Pacers big man Roy Hibbert, who had 14 points on 6-9 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds and 5 blocked shots, made things difficult for the Knicks all afternoon-limiting New York to an abysmal 12-28 shooting in the restricted area.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson addressed the possibility of going to a bigger lineup in game 2
The fact that the normally tight lipped Woodson did not completely shut down the suggestion is telling, as the Knicks may need to play bigger in this series if they are to advance past the Pacers and into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Another concern for New York is the continued shooting slumps of JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony, who shot a combined 14-43 from the field in game 1.
Since serving a one game suspension for landing an elbow to the face of Boston guard Jason Terry in game 3 of the Eastern Conference’s first round JR Smith is shooting an ice cold 12-42. Carmelo Anthony has not fared much better, shooting a combined 35-110 from the field and 2-22 from beyond the arc in his previous 4 games.
Both players will look to finally get back on track in game 2 as the Knicks are faced with a must situation in game 2 at Madison Square Garden.
Carmelo Anthony was held to 5-of-17 (29.4%) shooting against Paul George in Game 1 after George held Anthony to 38.8% shooting in the regular season. In addition, George also held J.R. Smith to 0-of-7 shooting Sunday.
The Knicks were held to 42.9% shooting inside 5 feet with Roy Hibbert on court in Game 1 (league average: 59.4%). The Pacers have outscored opponents by 50 points inside 5 feet with Hibbert on court this postseason and have been outscored by 22 with Hibbert on the bench.
Lance Stephenson provided an unexpected spark Sunday, scoring 11 points and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds (including regular season). The Pacers defense has been better with Stephenson on the court throughout the playoffs, allowing 90.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and 112.0 with him off the floor.
The Knicks have never won a playoff series after losing Game 1 at home — they’re 0-5 in those series. Coincidentally, the last time they lost a Game 1 at home was also against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals — in 1995.
Game 1 – Pacers 102 Knicks 95
Game 2 – Tues May 7 at Knicks, 7:00 P.M. TNT
Game 3 – Sat May 11 at Pacers, 8:00 P.M. ABC
Game 4 – TBD
Game 5 * TBD
Game 6 * TBD
Game 7 * TBD
Season Series (Tied 2-2)
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers have played 36 playoff games
Indiana leads the all-time series 19-17
Longest Winning Streak by Knicks: 3 games
Longest Winning Streak by Pacers: 3 games
Most Points Scored by Knicks: 109 (May 6, 1993)
Most Points Scored by Pacers: 118 (May 10, 1998)
Largest Margin of Victory by Knicks: +19 (May 9, 1995)
Largest Margin of Victory by Pacers: +23 (May 4, 1993)