GAME RECAP: Pacers 115, Knicks 97

Thaddeus Young leads all scorers with 20 points and six rebounds as the Pacers defeat the Knicks 115-97.

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GAME RECAP: Pacers 115, Knicks 97

Thaddeus Young leads all scorers with 20 points and six rebounds as the Pacers defeat the Knicks 115-97.
Dec 4, 2017  |  01:38

Thad Young's 20-Point Night

Dec. 4, 2017 - Pacers forward Thaddeus Young led Indiana with 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting in a 115-97 win over the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Dec 4, 2017  |  01:59

Lance Though...

December 04, 2017 - Lance brings his signature razzle dazzle as he spins to the hoop for the bucket.
Dec 4, 2017  |  02:21

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Dec. 4, 2017

December 4, 2017 - Pacers players Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, and Thaddeus Young discussed Indiana's 115-97 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Dec 4, 2017  |  02:15

Postgame: McMillan Press Conference - Dec. 4, 2017

Dec. 4, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan addresses the media following Indiana's 115-97 win over the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Dec 4, 2017  |  13:11

DC Does It All

December 04, 2017: New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 4, 2017  |  02:57

Bogdanovic With The Dunk

The Pacers get the steal and Bojan Bogdanovic gets it to the other side for the dunk.
Dec 4, 2017  |  00:15

Oladipo Throws It Down

December 04, 2017 - Victor Oladipo gets the ball out on the break and slams it down for two.
Dec 4, 2017  |  01:50

Turner Cuts for the Slam

December 04, 2017 - Thad Young draws the extra defender and finds a cutting Myles Turner for the throw down.
Dec 4, 2017  |  01:22

Postgame: Knicks Coach Jeff Hornacek - Dec. 4, 2017

December 4, 2017 - New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks about his team's short handed loss to the Pacers on Monday night.
Dec 4, 2017  |  01:44

Sabonis Punches It Home

December 04, 2017 - Domantas Sabonis attacks the rim and puts down a strong one-handed dunk.
Dec 4, 2017  |  01:05

Oladipo Dimes to Turner

December 04, 2017 - Victor Oladipo finds Myles Turner off the screen for the easy finish.
Dec 4, 2017  |  00:46

Pacers Turn Defense Into Offense

December 04, 2017 - A deflected post entry pass on the defensive end leads to an easy basket for Thad Young.
Dec 4, 2017  |  00:26

Young Creates His Own Opportunities

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

There's Clear, and there's Weak Four.

"And we rarely run Weak Four," Thaddeus Young said.

In other words, there's not much in the playbook dedicated to the Pacers' starting "four." And he happens to be fine with that, which is a primary reason their offense has been harmonious this season.

Young's selfless and self-sufficient game was a primary factor in the Pacers' 115-97 victory over New York at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, a win that shouldn't have been difficult and wasn't, given the Knicks' loss of their two leading scorers. More than anyone, Young made it that way by doing what he usually does, only this time it seemed more obvious.

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He led the Pacers with 20 points despite sitting out the fourth quarter. He hit 9-of-11 field goal attempts, and was the player who most reflected the balanced and efficient offense that put all five starters in double figures. He hit both 3-point attempts, five layups and two of those half-hook, half-flip shots of his from about 10 feet over smaller defenders.

All with only two plays being called for him.

"If that," he said.

Ok, maybe one. We'll assume it was Clear, since Weak Four is rarely called.

Young's not complaining. He gives coach Nate McMillan the luxury of saving the play calls for others and finding a way to fill in the cracks. He's the chameleon who can show up nearly anywhere and look like he belongs, from the low block to the 3-point line and anywhere between.

Last season, when the Pacers' roster featured more players who needed the ball to be at peak effectiveness, Young had to settle for scraps. He took fewer shots than in any of his 10 NBA seasons other than his rookie initiation, averaging 9.3 per game on his way to an 11-point scoring average. This season he's averaging 12 shots per game — second-most behind Victor Oladipo — and 13.4 points.

The offense was almost perfectly balanced among the starters on Monday, a result of their ball movement. Young and Bojan Bogdanovic each took 11 shots, Oladipo and Darren Collison each took 10, and Myles Turner nine. The difference is that Young had just those two plays called for him, maybe one. That's not all bad, though. It gives him more freedom to roam and create his own opportunities, rather than be forced into a script that limits his options.

"He doesn't stop playing if he doesn't get the ball," McMillan said. "He plays off of guys. He just randomly finds himself in the right place, and he's been doing good things with it."

That's been Young's style throughout his NBA career, now in its 11th season. Being a role player who can adapt to multiple roles, he remains a valued player at 29 years old despite not having an All-Star player's game. Consider that he once attempted eight 3-point shots in a season for Philadelphia, then came back the following year under a new coach and shot 292 of them.

Young is OK with whatever. But he naturally prefers his current role, given the additional opportunities afforded by the Pacers' ball movement. The more the ball moves, the more likely he is to be on the receiving end of it.

"I've always been a player who can play without the ball, he said. "If there's an open spot on the court, I'll find it. Don't worry about me, I'll figure it out. That's what I tell Coach all the time. He always comes up and asks me, 'What can I run for you?' I'm like, 'Just run the same two plays you've been running for me and leave it at that.' You don't have to give me a whole playbook. If you don't run them, I'm not going to be worried about it. I'm going to go out there and just play."


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Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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