The Indiana Pacers improved their home record to 20-1 in a 117-89 rout of the Knicks on Thursday night. It’s hard to believe that these teams were duking it out for the second seed in the East last season.
The Knicks were able to keep it close in the first meeting with the Pacers this year, but had no such luck, or any luck whatsoever, tonight. Both Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire exited the game with sprained left ankles and once again, no one showed up to help Carmelo Anthony.
- Believe it or not, the Knicks actually won a quarter in this one. Unfortunately, they were one and done. The Pacers took a while to get it going, while the Knicks came blazing out of the gates. And by Knicks, I mean Carmelo Anthony. He finished the quarter with 18 points on 6-8 shooting from the field, including a three-pointer as time ran out to put New York up 31-30. As a team, they had only two turnovers and didn’t trail until there were 45 seconds left in the period.
- However, it was all down hill after that, as Indiana continued to attack the hoop, while the jumpers that the Knicks were making in the first quarter stopped dropping. Indiana went on runs of 16-6 and 11-4 in the second quarter and came out just as hot after the half. To give you a better idea of how they dominated the paint, here are the team shooting charts from the first half:
- In general, Melo has had no help all season long, but it was especially apparent tonight. Andrea Bargnani finished with a -23 and continued his struggles with Chandler in the lineup. The trio of Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Beno Udrih combined for just six points, and while J.R. Smith did play close to his season average in minutes, he contributed just 12 quiet points and was 0-3 from downtown. The only one who played above average was Stoudemire, who left in the third quarter.
- Chandler limited his time on the floor against Charlotte on Tuesday in order to be properly prepared for Roy Hibbert tonight, but still played only 26 minutes. The Knicks training staff has a tricky situation on their hands, as they’ll have to get him up to speed quickly without overexerting him and risking re-injury. You have to assume that a sprained ankle means the team will be without Martin and Stoudemire for tomorrow night at the absolute least, but we’ll learn more on the severity tomorrow. The Knicks then have two days off before kicking off (or tipping off?) a four-game week at home against the Nets.
- Lance Stephenson continued to wreak havoc on the Knicks. Here’s his night in a nutshell:
- The Knicks will have a lot to handle tomorrow against the Clippers tomorrow, despite the absence of Chris Paul. Having lost two in a row now, it’s especially important that the team gets this one at home. As always, TOK will have you covered.