By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
Knicks vs. Pacers | Madison Square Garden
When: Tuesday | 7.00 PM
Where to Watch: TNT
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
Knicksnow Live In-Game Chat
Thanks to a strong defensive showing led by Roy Hibbert (five blocks), the Pacers came to Madison Square Garden and stole Game 1, 102-95.
New York: Facing a physical Indiana defense similar to the one they just saw in Boston, the Knicks' offense looked very similar, as well. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 27 points, but he needed 28 shots to get there and his biggest impact might've been his rebounding; he pulled down a team-high 11 boards, six more than any other Knick. He stressed that the shoulder he hurt against the Celtics has not been an issue. Raymond Felton picked up where he left off in the Boston series, getting into the lane off the dribble and pouring in 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
The Knicks unanimously cited Indiana's superior effort as the reason for the Game 1 loss. Coach Mike Woodson credited the Pacers for winning extra possessions and playing harder "across the board," an idea each of his players echoed. All agreed that would be the first adjustment for Game 2.
Indiana: It was just a solid game for the Pacers, who stole home court advantage in the series by doing exactly they do: contesting looks at the rim and behind the three-point line. They also dominated the rebounding battle (44-30) -- a factor that Woodson cited as the difference in the game: "They got second half chances because of that. They were in a position to secure it. You have to secure the basketball to play offense, and we didn't do that."
The Numbers Game
The Knicks turned the ball over 10 times in Game 1, down from their league-best mark of 12.1 per game during the year. In the regular season, they had an 46-18 record when they committed equal or fewer than their opponents.
Matchup to Watch
Tyson Chandler vs. Roy Hibbert
If any individual matchup told the story of the first game, it was this one. Hibbert may have been its M.V.P., with the way he used his superior length and stuffed the stat sheet (14 points, eight rebounds and four assists). On the other hand, Chandler struggled. Woodson said after the game: '“I thought (Roy) Hibbert played better. I have to get Tyson playing better than Hibbert. It is a team but these are matchups we have to do better at.”
What to Look For
The Knicks know that it's going to take a team effort to beat the Pacers. Indy is such a strong defensive group that the Knicks will have to adjust their approach on offense, but whether that means playing Kenyon Martin and Chandler together to combat their size or trying to beat them with quickness and long-distance shooting, we'll have to wait and see...This is certainly true on the glass, where the Knicks need to do a better job boxing out as a group. Indy's starting 1 through 3 of George Hill (7), Lance Stephenson (13) and and Paul George (5) combined for 25 rebounds between them...Chris Copeland saw eight minutes on the court, and he knocked down two three-pointers.