Friday, March 16, 2012

Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks Post Game Recap March 16th

Final Score: Indiana Pacers 100 New York Knicks 115 

As Walt “Clyde” Frazier says, “How sweet it is!” The Knicks won their second straight game under new Head Coach Mike Woodson, picking apart the Indiana Pacers to the tone of a 15 point victory. The Knicks had a wire-to-wire victory tonight, never once trailing in the game. There were no crazy stat lines, just a solid whole team effort for a team that finally looks to be coming together. The Knicks started the cooling off process of a Pacers team that had won their last 2 games, and 8 of their last 12 games. The Knicks will try to really cool off the Pacers in the 2nd night of their home and home series ends Saturday night in Indy. 

-Energy and Defense from the Start 

The Knicks came out from the start of this one with energy and a sense of urgency, especially on the defensive end. The Knicks held the Pacers to only 14 points and shot 22.7% in the first quarter, allowing the Knicks to set the tempo and pace of the game to their liking. The Pacers were held to only 39.5% shooting for the game. They were able to hold former All-Stars Danny Granger and David West in check, holding them to 4-15 shooting for 9 points and 3-6 shooting for 8 points respectively. 

Carmelo Anthony again came out firing from the start, scoring 6 points in the first quarter. Anthony also made a number of plays, have impressive passes and creating opportunities for his teammates. Anthony finished with 12 points 7 rebounds and 5 assists in only 23 minutes, taking a long rest in the 2nd half to make sure he is ready for the 2nd game of the back to back. 

It was a collective effort by the Knicks, never allowing the Pacers to gain their footing until it was too late and there was no chance of a comeback. The Knicks dominated the paint, grabbing 44 rebounds compared to 39 for the Pacers and outscoring the Pacers 52-34 in the paint. The Knicks were able to hold 2012 All-Star Center Roy Hibbert to only 3 rebounds total in the game. Tyson Chandler has been upset with not being chosen as an All-Star this season, and seemed to get up to go against Hibbert, going for 16 points 7 rebounds and 4 blocks in only 27 minutes of action. 

-Bench Unit 

For a second game in a row they game out firing, taking off right from where the starters would leave them off at. They were again hot from downtown, led by Steve Novak and J.R. Smith who made 4 and 2 three pointers respectively. The constant attacking of the paint led to plenty of open shot attempts for the Knicks, leading to a collective 44% shooting from 3point land. 

The most impressive stat from the bench came in the 3rd quarter. Knicks reserves went 8/10 from the field scoring 24 points in the 3rd quarter. That effort from the bench unit helped bury the Pacers for good. 

The Knicks were able again to empty their bench, enabling their starters and rotation players to get much needed rest going into a rematch with the Pacers tomorrow night in Indiana. It is fun seeing the reserves come in because of how hard they always play and how entertaining they are. The cheer the crowd gives them upon entering the name is deafening at times, and creates a great atmosphere in the Garden. 

-Injury Concerns 

After jus getting Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries back from injuries, the Knicks have suffered another one to a key player. Reserve Point Guard Baron Davis suffered a setback and tweaked his right hamstring in the first half, not returning after that. The Knicks can not afford an extended time of absence to Davis again, as it puts a lot of pressure upon Jeremy Lin and leaves the Knicks with a gaping hole in their backcourt. Davis was finally starting to round into shape and give the Knicks quality minutes. But it is important to get Davis healthy now so they have him for the stretch run, when his veteran presence and playoff experience will be greatly appreciated. Davis is quoted as saying the injury is a minor setback, and he should be fine in a couple of days. He will not accompany the Knicks on the trip to Indiana. 

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