Pacers need to crash the boards more in order to win this series

A 53-29 rebound battle in favor of the Knicks was a huge part of the 30-point blowout loss the Pacers endured in game 5.
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

After a 32-point blowout win at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the Pacers fell by 30 points themselves, in a game that seemed to take forever, due to how poorly the Pacers played. Pascal Siakam led the team in scoring with 22 points while Jalen Brunson dropped 44 points against the Pacers.

A big number to look at is the rebounding totals, as Isaiah Hartenstein had 17 rebounds with 12 coming from the offensive end. The Knicks had a total of 20 offensive rebounds which led to them getting 29 more field-goal attempts than the Pacers. The Pacers seemed to not hustle on defensive boards and also struggled to contain anyone outside of Donte DiVincenzo who only scored eight points.

Myles Turner grabbed five rebounds compared to Hartenstein's 17. That is a matchup that needs to be won as our leading rebounder was Siakam with eight. The only other player with five boards was Obi Toppin. Our bench was also outscored 27-21, being only the second time all series that has happened.

The Pacers must be able to secure rebounds and box out certain players. Josh Hart currently leads the postseason in rebounds as a 6'4" guard. He has out-rebounded every Pacers player this series and seems to be untouched in box-outs. Hartenstein has also been fighting for rebounds more than the Pacers' bigs and even when OG Anunoby was healthy, he was out-rebounding bigs too.

Rick Carlisle must have his team fight harder down low and make sure the Knicks do not get many second-chance opportunities. The Pacers must work on that if they want to win this series.


Game 6 will be played on Friday, May 17, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where the Pacers are 5-0 this postseason, their current away record is 1-6. If they don't win, the season is over.