Post-Game Grades: The Pacers Are as Good as JD & The Straight Shot

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Phil Jackson has changed the entire culture of the New York Knicks in just one game. They are now winners. Phil’s very presence has made everyone better.

Or maybe the Pacers are in full on slump mode right now.

It is hard to put the right words on it other than they haven’t looked like a team in a long time. The defense had been holding teams down in the 90-point range for most of the season, but now they’ve allowed 102.9 points per 100 possessions while the offensive rating is 101.3. Is it lack of effort? Did all the personnel changes ruin chemistry?

I don’t know as far as the defense goes, but on offense there is too much dribbling and not enough penetration. Indiana has settled for jumpers. Tonight for a short time they fed Roy Hibbert the ball in near the basket, and he ate up the Knicks defense. But too often the Pacers look like they are resigned to playing 1-on-5 basketball.

The Good – For the Pacers it was Roy Hibbert. Indiana was able to rely on him for points in the second half, and this is the first game in a long time Hibbert looked anything like an All-Star. But for the game itself it was Carmelo Anthony and his 34 points.

The Bad – That stupid, stupid, stupid pass by Lance Stephenson late in the fourth quarter. The Pacers had George Hill wide open in the corner and Lance was being Lance. But this time it was a turnover at the worst time possible. The Eighth Grader has been sent back to the seventh grade. Paul George wasn’t great either.

MVP – JD & The Straight Shot. Ask free agents for a review of the CD.

LVP – Paul George was the only player in the starting five with a negative plus/minus. He’s forcing shots and settling for jumpers.

X Factor – Despite my sarcasm about Phil Jackson, it does feel like the Knicks have a little more confidence with the the 13-time champion coming in. I don’t think we’ll have any idea what Phil can bring to the organization for a few years, but I’m sure all of the Knicks knew they had a chance to show off and prove they can contribute to the Knicks rebuilding. The fact New York is streaking right now helps as well as they are playing with a confidence we hasn’t seen since the playoffs last season.

Indiana Pacers 86 FinalRecap | Box Score 92 New York Knicks
David West, PF 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +3

He didn’t play bad, but the image in my mind is him yelling when a call doesn’t go his way. Just frustrating when that’s your take away. At least his shooting was decent unlike…

Paul George, SF 36 MIN | 4-17 FG | 7-8 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -5

Dude… just. 4 of 17? You can’t have as many points as shots taken, especially when Carmelo Anthony had 34 points. Only 5 of those shots were in the paint (and he missed two shots at the rim) because he’s settling for jump shots or shooting nine 3-pointers. The Struggle is real.

Roy Hibbert, C 30 MIN | 8-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | 0

GOOD NEWS, INDIANA: Missing area man and Pacers employee was found in New York City as he went off for 20 points. Considering he’d been missing for the last month, this is one of the silver linings in the loss.

George Hill, PG 40 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +4

Quietly had a decent night, but Indiana needed more than his one 3-pointer tonight.

Lance Stephenson, SG 37 MIN | 8-16 FG | 3-6 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 21 PTS | +1

Had a wonderful night and then threw it away with one foolish, stupid, unneeded no-look pass in the final minutes. When you throw a stupid pass like that in a critical moment, you go from getting a B to an F out of principle.

Lavoy Allen, PF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | 0

The bench played tonight and had a total of 13 points. Allen only played 4 minutes so can’t knock him, unlike…

Luis Scola, PF 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -9

I know he was in New York. That’s about it. I miss the productive Scola we saw earlier in the year. Now he’s just there. He exists. That’s all I can say.

Evan Turner, SF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -13

Bad defense cost a few points and did nothing offensively.

Chris Copeland, SF 7 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +9

Missed a pair or corner 3-pointers. Copeland played decent defense so don’t want to bury him.

Ian Mahinmi, C 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -9

Five rebounds isn’t a bad thing.

Frank Vogel

We saw a bit of Jersey Frank, but he’s got to do something to get Indiana out of this funk.

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