Pacers must get greedy vs. Knicks
by Bob Kravitz, USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS — Now it’s time to get greedy. Now it’s time for the Indiana Pacers to put the New York Knicks on their heels and send Spike Lee back to New York with nothing to show for his little vacation to central Indiana. (Hope he enjoys a tenderloin while he’s here.)
Now it’s time for the Pacers to treat Game 4 like it’s a Game 7, because if they don’t win it, the likelihood is, there will be a Game 7 and it will be back in New York.
The Pacers didn’t beat the Knicks 82-71 Saturday night as much as they just pounded away at them, wore them down, did all the things they need to do to win this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“The pace was our pace,” David West said. “We limited their threes (a season-low 11 three-point attempts). But we can’t lose focus for Game 4. That’s one we have to have.”
They pounded New York on the boards, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds and scoring 20 second-chance points.
They pounded them on defense, holding the Knicks to 35% shooting and the most important statistic, just those 11 threes.
They held Carmelo Anthony to 21 points, eight in the second half, on 6-of-16 shooting. Anthony had no baskets — none — in the fourth quarter. Paul George might not be getting his offensive numbers, but he’s doing a phenomenal job staying in front of Anthony. Most important, the Pacers have been able to defend Anthony straight-up without bringing doubles, which would only open up things for the Knicks’ three-point shooters.
“Did you ever think you’d see a fourth quarter when Carmelo didn’t make a single basket?” Frank Vogel was asked.
“No way,” he said with a smile. “He’s an exceptional scorer. Every time he misses a shot, I’m shocked. I just ask guys to compete the best they can and make everything difficult.”
This is the advantage the Pacers had coming into the series, that tall, bruising front line, and it’s that front line that’s come to bear on the Knicks, who look very small suddenly.
For most of the season, Knicks coach Mike Woodson has played … [For more on Indiana Pacers must get greedy vs. New York Knicks, click here.]