Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs NYK, Game 4
Scott Agness | May 12, 2013
The Pacers have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and will now try to build some separation and maintain home court advantage before heading back to New York for Game 5. On Saturday in primetime, the Pacers won in convincing fashion, 82-71. There were just two lead changes and they never trailed after the first period.
Roy Hibbert recorded his seventh career playoff double-double – 24 points, a game high, along with 12 rebounds. He was the only player in the game to attempt 10 or more field goals and make at least half. Though he didn’t record a block, he controlled the paint, pulling down eight offensive boards, and altered a handful of other shots. Pacers coach Frank Vogel leaned on his starters for heavier minutes, including 41 from Hibbert – just two minutes shy of his career high.
Neither team shot the ball well – both teams hit just 35 percent of their attempts – but the Pacers managed to win ugly. They are a much better off than most teams in a low-scoring affair. They’ve won 16-of-17 games this season when holding opponents below 80 points, including Game 3.
Part of Indiana’s success is due to their ability to defend the 3-point shot. The Knicks finished the regular season with the most made 3-pointers in NBA history, averaging nearly 11 per game while shooting 37.6 percent. In the first three games of this series, however, they’ve gone 20-for-60 (33.3 percent) from deep.
In an effort to keep Carmelo Anthony from going off, Vogel has told Hibbert and Paul George that whenever Anthony is on the floor, they will be too. George checks Anthony around the perimeter and should he get by him, Hibbert is waiting to go straight up to block or alter the shot. Those two both finished in the top 10 in votes this season for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
In their two wins this series, the Pacers have won the inside game and the hustle points. Energy has played a big factor as well. The Knicks are one of the top teams in the NBA in forcing turnovers, so the Pacers have specifically addressed protecting the ball and faking elsewhere before making a pass.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, an Indy native, was most concerned with his team’s pace and flow after losing Saturday night. He felt like they looked slow and didn’t have any offensive pop. Anthony was his only player in double figures. The backcourt of Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni combined to shoot 1-for-11 and reserve Jason Kidd has failed to score in seven consecutive games (totaling 161 minutes).
Knicks guard J.R. Smith is coming off an illness. He had a 102 degree temperature on Saturday and looked terribly uncomfortable while on the court for 25 minutes. Amar’e Stoudemire returned after being out since March 11 following right knee surgery and scored seven points in just under nine minutes. Coach Woodson plans to limit Stoudemire to around 10 minutes per game.
With a victory Tuesday, the Pacers would have a firm grasp of the series and be just one win away from their first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004. To add to the excitement in the building, Hall-of-Famer Reggie Miller will be seated at mid-court, as he’s the analyst for TNT’s national broadcast.
Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Knicks: Iman Shumpert, (questionable, sore left knee), J.R Smith (game-time decision, illness), Kenyon Martin (game-time decision, illness)
“We're prepared for whatever they can throw at us. You can play a guessing game. There's a hundred different things they can do. I think they're just going to play harder and with more desperation.” – Frank Vogel on the Knicks
“He's probably playing his best basketball right now, when we need it most. Which is good. I hope he keeps it up.” – Frank Vogel on Roy Hibbert
“It’s about us. How we come out, what kind of focus we have. We can’t exhale feeling like we’ve accomplished anything. Our mission is to protect our home court, and we haven’t done that yet. We have to win one more game.” – David West
“It’s going to be a hard-fought battle. We don’t want to be complacent like we did in Game 2. We’re just going to have to come out aggressive and keep the pressure on them at all times, no matter if we’re up or down.” – Roy Hibbert
“We can’t let our guard down just because we’re up 2-1. We know that they’re going to come out with a lot of desperation and effort. We have to match that.” – George Hill
“We want to take their bigs out of the game and we did a poor job of it [Saturday] night.” – Tyson Chandler
“I’m just concerned about our pace and how we’re flowing into things. I thought after our last game at home in the third and fourth quarter we were back moving and had a lot of pace. [Saturday] we just looked slow. We just have to figure that out, go back to the drawing board.” – Mike Woodson
- The Pacers are undefeated (4-0) at home so far this postseason.
- The Knicks are averaging 79 points per game in three contests in Indianapolis this season, all losses.
- Every fan in attendance for Game 4 will receive a gold towel.
- Knicks center Tyson Chandler was voted on the NBA’s All-Defensive Team; Paul George made the Second Team.
- The Pacers are 6-0 this postseason when they lead at halftime.
May 11: On a night when neither team shot the ball well, both teams making just 35 percent of their attempts, Indiana’s defense was forceful and effective. The Pacers took the lead for good in the first quarter and held on the rest of the way. They also were outstanding around the rim, tallying 20 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds. New York attempted just 11 3-point shots and hit just three, both season-lows. In front of a sell-out crowd glowing in gold shirts, the Pacers prevailed 82-71.
Roy Hibbert was by far the player of the game. He had his second double-double of the playoffs with 24 points and 12 rebounds. David West (11 points, 12 rebounds) recorded one as well. Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and no other Knicks player scored in double figures.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings
TV: TNT - Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst), Rachel Nichols (reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
Note: The Pacers TV crew of Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, Austin Croshere and Brooke Olzendam will have a 30-minute postgame show on FOX Sports Indiana immediately following the game.
Good seats remain for Games 4 and 6 (if nec.) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »