Pacers 106, Knicks 99
Best Performance: Lance Stephenson
Yup. Lance Stephenson swung an elimination game. That happened. The Knicks had a 92-90 lead with 5:40 to go in the game. The next four minutes went like this: Stephenson lay-up, Melo charge, Stephenson missed 3, Stephenson steal, Stephenson and-1, Melo miss, Stephenson free throws, Melo turnover, David West bucket, Melo bucket, Stephenson lay-up. A two-point game turned into a 7-point lead thanks to Stephenson’s 9 point barrage. He’d go 9-13 for the game, finishing with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. Even though he didn’t hit a shot outside the paint, Stephenson was absolutely outstanding finishing a variety of lay-ups and making life tough on the Knicks guards, especially J.R. Smith, who finished 4-15 from the field with Stephenson guarding him for a majority of that time. Stephenson had an absolutely terrific game, and was a terrific weapon for the Pacers.
Worst Performance: Raymond Felton
Felton was pretty good in the Boston series, but struggled against Indiana. That was none more evident than last night, when Felton went 0-7 from the field for two points. He missed in the lane, from mid-range, and from deep two land, and was completely ineffective on defense, Allowing George Hill to attack the lane on him with ease, which seems relevant because, you know, Hill was in his first game back after a concussion sent him away for Game 5. Felton did nothing really positive for the Knicks, who didn’t really have offensive rhythm late outside of “Get the ball to Melo, see what happens.”
Most Surprising Factor: Roy Hibbert Block Party
We all know Hibbert is a shot-blocking machine. He is prone to blocking many shots. However, it was awesome to watch Hibbert come alive last night, blocking 5 shots, including this one on a Carmelo Anthony dunk attempt that was pretty outstanding. Hibbert had a quiet offensive effort, going for 21 unremarkable points, but he was alive on the defensive end, killing the Knicks and allowing an absurd 20 points in the paint.
Thing I Liked Most About This Series: It’s over
I thought this series was going to be pretty fun. I was wrong. The wildly inconsistent Pacers and wildly inconsistent Knicks played an interesting Game 1, and last night’s game was pretty good, but the middle four games featured a blowout in game 2, and neither team cracking 95 points in the other three. No one was really consistent in this series, except J.R. Smith, who was consistently awful. This was a fairly crappy series, and I’m looking forward to the Eastern Conference Finals simply to put this series behind us.
Thing I Liked Least About this Series: J.R. Smith
Let’s roll back J.R.’s numbers for the series, shall we?
Game 1: 4-15, 17 points
Game 2: 3-15, 1-7 from three, 8 points, 6 rebounds
Game 3: 4-12, 9 points, 1 rebound
Game 4: 7-22 for 19 points, 2 rebounds
Game 5: 4-11, 13 points
Game 6: 4-15, 2-9 from deep, 15 points
Overall, J.R. shot 33% from the field and 27% from three in the playoffs, averaged 4 points per game less than he did in the regular season, and was even our only playoff suspension so far this year. Wonderful showing, J.R. I really enjoyed him in the regular season, but this…..this was just sad.