Even as an Indiana Pacers fan I will have to admit that the Knicks performance this past Tuesday was impressive. Carmelo Anthony appeared to break out of his shooting slump adding 32 points while make half of the shots he attempted. New York had five players in double figures and was able to force Indiana into 21 turnovers.
That being said I believe there were other factors involved in the loss.
Roy Hibbert was held to 6 points on 3-7 shooting. I believe that this simply isn’t enough for him. In order to open up the opportunities for the back-court and supporting cast from the bench it is important for Roy to be aggressive offensively. He is easily a physical force to be reckoned with and needs to exploit that. We know that he has the ability to produce 20+ points a game and remain effective on the defensive end of the court.
Quite often in the games when he displays his abilities the opposing teams’ big men get into foul trouble. The attention that Hibbert demands also allows for the perimeter shooters to get open looks and also opens up the lanes for our players who are able to create their own shots from penetration.
Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I believe that utilizing the post play is key for a truly effective offense. It will also take the pressure of players like Paul George and David West so that they may play a little more relaxed and allow for the game to come to them.
Roy Hibbert has shown what he can do. I think it’s time for not only Roy to assert himself more, but for the coaches to faithfully work on utilizing him. Should this be the case in Game 3 I predict the Pacers to blowout the Knicks.