It’s not very fun to write about the Pacers these days. After Friday’s display of excellence against a streaky Dallas Mavericks team, the boys in blue turned out their third dud in the last four games. I’ll admit the Knicks are pretty good, and will likely beat a lot of bad teams pretty handily throughout the season. I’m just glad the Colts game was moved to 4:25. I’d have hated to miss the first half of that game because I’m stuck watching another pathetic performance by the local pro basketball team. In continuing the Autumn theme, today’s random grading utensil will be CRANBERRIES. I know it’s really cranberry sauce, but the Pacers didn’t earn a two-worded grading thing.
Once again, the Pacers showed an alarmingly high ineptitude on the offensive end. Once again, it was like nobody on the team had ever shot a basketball before. The Knicks are too good to keep attempting low percentage mid-range jump shots. What this team lacked was any penetration at the basket. With nobody trying to get good looks at the rim, the Knicks’ defense didn’t have to collapse, and could maintain proper spacing to protect against the Pacers’ shooting. Turnovers were a huge problem today, as they have been all season, and provided the biggest reason the Pacers couldn’t put any runs together to keep this game close.
The Pacers played pretty well on the defensive end. They already led the league in defensive field goal percentage, and played like it today. Whether it was good defense, or poor Knicks shooting, the shots for New York were not falling, which should be good for Indiana. The problems came when New York rebounded extremely well on offense.
David West started out very hot with Carmelo guarding him, but when the Knicks started double teaming him, the production all but stopped. The “Big Useless” Roy HIbbert was as ineffective on offense as he’s been all season. Lance Stephenson was playing with an energy level at about an 8 and we need him at a 6.5. Paul George was the only one that stood out well on offense, and he wasn’t even very good. George Hill went 2-6 from beyond the arc, and that just continued a trend of him not shooting well. It’s almost been enough evidence to deem him a bad three-point shooter.
What has happened to DJ Augustin. He was a starter for most of his career, and now he’s getting similar minutes to Ben Hanbrough and Miles Plumlee. Sam Young was the only player on the bench that stood out. One possession stands out in particular. Young was on JR Smith, who began the possession with the ball. JR Smith dribbled for 23 seconds, finding no paths to the basket, before passing to Steve Novak for a near-half-court shot. Needless to say, the Knicks got the offensive rebound and found an open man for a layup. That’s the Pacers season in a nutshell.
The amount of floor time Ben Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph, and Miles Plumlee see, the worse the game probably was for the Pacers. These three each got to play the final 4 minutes of the game. That means the Pacers had given up on the game with a third of the 4th quarter remaining (That’s fun with fractions). The Pacers were embarrassed today against what used to be the team’s biggest rival. They couldn’t hold onto the ball, couldn’t knock down open jumpers, couldn’t get to the basket for easy baskets, couldn’t force turnovers to jumpstart the offense, and couldn’t rebound. Almost every aspect of the game was dominated by the Knicks. Today is supposed to be a great sports day in Indianapolis, but the Pacers might have ruined it. Jerks.