Today’s game should teach observers two things.
First is that the Pacers are extremely difficult to beat, when they do Pacer things. It wasn’t a dominating defensive performance, but it was still good. And Roy Hibbert was as dominant at the rim as you could ever hope to see.
At the offensive end, they moved the ball side-to-side, worked inside, and played with patience. Indy committed 16 turnovers – which is too many – but gave up only 13 points off turnovers. This is a huge difference, considering the Pacers were outscored 33-2 in points off turnovers in their last loss in the Garden.
Second is the fleeting nature of success.
The New York Knicks spent five months and 82 games earning the #2 seed. It took them 48 minutes to lose its benefit.
This was a very big win for the Indiana Pacers, but it was only one. It takes four to move on. The Knicks can – and will – play better. Coach Frank Vogel and his charges would be well served to remember that the job isn’t anywhere near complete.
|David West, PF 37 MIN | 8-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +14 |
Physical. Efficient. Everything the Pacers needed from their leader.
|Paul George, SF 43 MIN | 5-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | +3 |
Not an efficient day, but still 19 points and his typical good defense. If this is is the “bad road” Paul George, the Pacers will be fine.
|Roy Hibbert, C 39 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -1 |
The difference. Absolutely dominant at the rim today. He went straight up, and didn’t foul…but that’s always a judgment call. The series may hinge on that judgment.
|George Hill, PG 43 MIN | 5-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +11 |
Struggled with his shot, but was still a solid presence in Indy’s win.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 39 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-3 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +17 |
Stop and think a minute about how valuable Lance Stephenson’s growth has been to the Pacers this season. One of the team’s most solid performers in the playoffs.
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 11 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -7 |
Stole some rest for West and fouls for PG with his 4th quarter stint guarding Melo. Got beat, but not badly.
|Sam Young, SF 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | -5 |
|Ian Mahinmi, C 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +8 |
I see you, there, Ian…hiding behind Sam.
|D.J. Augustin, PG 13 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -5 |
So, helping the Pacers win one game a series makes up for a whole lotta sins.
|Frank Vogel |
His team “stuck to who they are.” He needs to keep them there.