Post-Game Grades: Pacers Get Blown Out by the Knicks

One step forward. Four steps back. For the first time this season, while beating the Mavericks on Friday night, this year’s Pacers — by their own admission — looked like the team we were so impressed with last season for the first time. This afternoon, while losing by double digits to the Knicks, they looked like last year’s Purdue Boilermakers.

It’s tough to even analyze a game like this. The Pacers shot 26.3% and turned the ball over 10 times in the first half while scoring an embarrassing 30 points. Sure, New York couldn’t point any points on the board either after a noon-tipoff, but nobody is going to be giving out any gold stars for defense when the outcome is this ugly. They trailed by 11 at the break.

The shooting did improve after the half, as Indiana knocked down a 10 of its 14 shots (71.4%) in the third quarter. But any measure, that is great accuracy. The key number there is not the percentage; it’s the 14. They only got up that number of looks because they spend so much of their time bumbling away points in other ways, coughing up the rock 7 times and missing 4 of their 6 free-throw attempts. Add in the defensive rebounding breakdown — the Knicks got 7 offensive boards on their 15 missed FGs in the third — and New York, which shot just 40.0% in the quarter, was still able to extend their lead. That tends to happen no matter how badly you shoot when you put 25 shots compared to just 14 for Indiana.

The fourth quarter was meaningless as the Knicks thwarted every attempt the Pacers made to get back in the game. Carmelo Anthony was particularly relentless, refusing to stop attacking the paint even as he struggled to score there. Compared to Indiana, which was more than happy to keep missing shots all game long from the mid-range, the difference in mentality was glaring.

There isn’t anything really to say about a performance like this. The Pacers barely showed up and stunk up an arena that was once became must-see television every time they played there. Right now, there is no kind way to put it. This team just sucks.

Here is how each guy played individually tonight. Agree? Disagree? Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at me (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.

David West – 34 MIN | 6-10 FG | 7 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS

Shot 6-for-8 inside 17 feet and scored 8 of the team’s 18 first-quarter points. Didn’t play badly, in short. But he also didn’t exactly put the team on his back or anything and had several defensive lapses.

Paul George – 36 MIN | 6-15 FG (4-7 3PT) | 4-4 FT | 3 AST | 20 PTS

Hit some threes and made it to the line a few times, which makes this his second (at least marginally) efficient scoring game in a season in which he now has scored 155 points on 148 shots. That 1.05 points/shot average is a mammoth drop off from the 1.25 points/shot he posted last season (798 points on 639 FGAs).

Roy Hibbert - 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 6 TO | 6 PTS

If we use the average amount he will receive over the next four seasons, Roy made $176,829 for his play today. (In his defense … he did play some good defense. Still. Just look at those numbers. 7 missed shots, zero FTs, all the turnovers.)

George Hill – 33 MIN | 2-9 FG | 3 REB | 6 AST | 3 TO | 7 PTS

Gross shooting and led an offense that didn’t show up.

Lance Stephenson - 28 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3 REB | 5 AST | 3 TO | 4 PTS

Didn’t look as bad as the numbers suggest, but certainly wasn’t good.

Miles Plumlee - 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS

Garbage time.

Tyler Hansbrough - 19 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 5 PTS

Rebounded well, got some FTs, added energy. That’s his job.

Jeff Pendergraph - 4 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 5 PTS

Garbage time.

Sam Young – 19 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 6 PTS

Looked pretty OK mostly and hit a corner three. Make your free throws.

Gerald Green - 18 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 PTS

Can’t remember a single thing he did. That’s starting to be a trend.

Ian Mahinmi - 10 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS

Miss some more shots why don’t you.

Ben Hansbrough - 4 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 AST | 2 PTS

Garbage time.

D.J. Augustin - 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 AST | 2 PTS

Bad decisions, didn’t score, didn’t affect the game in any positive ways I noticed.

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