Five Takeaways: Knicks Even Series Heading To Indy

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Defense and Turnovers

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As a team, the Knicks stepped up their effort on defense. The Pacers still shot 45% for the game, but the Knicks harassed them into 21 turnovers. The Knicks blitzed both Paul George (seven turnovers) and George Hill (four turnovers) all night long. In typical fashion, New York took care of the ball itself, committing just seven team turnovers for the entire game. This led to a 32-6 discrepancy in points off turnovers for the game.

Credit Coach Woodson for changing up the defensive gameplan in Game 2. New York trapped Indiana’s shaky ballhandlers when they crossed halfcourt, and mixed their looks on Paul George throughout the game. This style unleashed pesky defenders Pablo Prigioni, Jason Kidd, and Iman Shumpert along the perimeter, speeding up the Pacers offense in the process.

Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, and Carmelo Anthony also worked hard on the defensive end, completely outplaying the Pacers front line. Paul George did lead the Pacers with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field, but again he had as many turnovers as the entire Knicks team. Roy Hibbert and David West were relative non-factors in Game 2, combining for just 19 points and 18 rebounds. This series will come down to the battle of the bigs, and in Game 2, the Knicks front court prevailed.

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images