Indiana Pacers: 3 best playoff moments since 2011, according to fans

Paul George, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Paul George, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Roy Hibbert Indiana Pacers
Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Roy Hibbert blocks Carmelo Anthony, ending the Knicks’ season and igniting franchise struggles

The 2013 NBA Playoffs saw the Indiana Pacers commence their run as a championship contender. After entering the postseason as third seed in the East, the Navy and Gold quickly made noise in the postseason by ousting Atlanta in the first round. Soon after, the found themselves matched up with the second-seeded New York Knicks, a star-studded team bannered by the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and JR Smith while being surrounded by an ensemble supporting cast.

Pacers-Knicks was a clash of style in every thinkable way: big market versus small market, offense versus defense, a perimeter-oriented team versus a plodding, physical squad. By all means, more people still expected New York to win with their league-leading scorer in Melo, but ultimately, this series was played on Indiana’s terms.

Up 3-2 heading to Indianapolis, the Pacers seemed poised to win, leading by 12 in the third frame. However, the Knicks caught fire, even leading by a deuce with five minutes left and had all the momentum to force a winner-takes-all Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. Up 92-90, Melo spun around Paul George and tried to throw it down, but was met at the rim by 7’2 behemoth Roy Hibbert. Indiana then quickly rounded back to form in clutch time to eliminate New York and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Hibbert’s block ignited not only the Indiana Pacers’ brief championship window, but also the long downfall of the New York Knicks. Since the 2013 Playoffs, the Knickerbockers haven’t made the postseason. That will change in the current campaign, but the defensive anchor’s monumental rejection was memorable not only to Pacers fans, but also to the Knicks faithful, who soon saw their championship hopes die and their team falter despite being the league’s highest-valued franchise.