A few months back the New York Knicks play a spirited game against the Indiana Pacers at MSG, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion in overtime. On Thursday night in the sequel at Indiana, the result was the same, but the effort was nowhere near equal.
In a game that got out of hand early in the second quarter, the Knicks flamed out and would get destroyed by the Pacers, losing 117-89.
It wasn’t a pretty night in any regards as the team lost more than the game with two key players in Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire getting injured. The Knicks have now dropped two in row after a five-game winning streak and if they want to get back to their winning ways, they are going to have to put this loss behind them.
So, let’s examine five initial observations.
Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin both leave game with sprained ankles
As previously mentioned, both Stoudemire and Martin had to leave the games with ankle injuries. Combined, the two of them scored eight points (all from Stoudemire) on 3-7 shooting. Coach Mike Woodson said that both will likely be out a few games. Considering how well both were playing recently, this is major setback, and one the Knicks could certainly do without.
Woodson says KMart could sit a few games with sprain. Stoudemire at least out tomorrow.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) January 17, 2014
Carmelo Anthony gives valiant effort, but he got no help elsewhere
On Thursday night it was all Anthony and practically nothing else. Anthony, try as he might, couldn’t carry the Knicks on this night even though he scored 28 points (8-17 from the field, 3-3 from three-point range) to go with seven rebounds. It was basically like watching Anthony go 1 on 5 with the Pacers.
Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. go ice cold
Speaking of the little help Anthony received, Shumpert and Hardaway were two of the primary culprits on that end. Combined, the two scored just six points on 3-14 shooting, including 0-8 from three-point territory. Obviously, there are going to be days like this and it hurts when these guys don't compliment Anthony.
Knicks get bullied in the paint
Clearly once the Knicks lost Stoudemire and Martin the paint was a lot easier for the Pacers to score at and that they did. The Pacers outscored the Knicks 40-22 in the paint. They Pacers simply imposed their will in this game and dominated the interior on both sides of the ball.
J.R. Smith plays decent game upon return
After sitting out for the second time in four games in Tuesday’s affair against Charlotte, Smith returned to the floor on Thursday night and actually continued to play well. Smith scored 12 points on 6-12 shooting and played within himself. Hopefully, Woodson and the Knicks can make up their mind in regards to what they want to do with Smith going forward. At least Smith is playing fairly well in light of all this.
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