Indiana Knocked The Knicks Around MMA-Style

If the Knicks were going to go down in Game 6, it was going to be in a blaze of glory. The Indiana Pacers kept up their MMA physicality and dominance on the boards, and the New York Knicks tapped out in the final minutes.

Game 6 was a scoring-by-committee effort for Indiana (so was the postgame press conference which featured all five startes at one table), but true to form, Carmelo Anthony was New York's offensive juggernaut for three quarters. In the fourth, Anthony got downgraded from hero to zero and didn’t score a basket until nearly 10 minutes into the period.  After scoring 35 points in the first three quarters, Indiana held Anthony to four points in the final quarter.

Roy Hibbert became a problem for Tyson Chandler. Not only did he help foul out Chandler and Kenyon Martin, but Hibbert’s rejection rate was Ivy League high. Hibbert coupled his 21 points and 12 rebounds with five blocks, including a demoralizing rejection of Anthony’s dunk at the rim.

Frighteningly enough, Paul George was just an afterthought for Indiana in Game 6. Anthony was the native New Yorker Knicks fans wanted, but the Pacers’ Lance Stephenson (who couldn’t find a college that wanted to recruit him), is the Brooklyn legend that made his mark. Stephenson attacked the rim like it insulted his mama and scored all of his points in the paint or at the free throw line.

New York tried to finesse their way to a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden, but in the end, they got outmuscled and Indiana wore them down on the mat. The Knicks made all 18 of their free throws and took 30 threes, but they were generous enough to send Indiana to the charity stripe 46 times where they made 34 freebies.

Indiana moves on to Miami, but the Knicks are going to have a long introspective summer and an uncertain future ahead. J.R. Smith is a free agent, but his value snowballed as he stopped attacking the basket, and he made just 4-of-15 shots in the closeout game. Chandler looked nothing like 2012’s Defensive Player of the Year, Jason Kidd played his way out of the rotation and spent more time on the bench than Woodson, and much of their aging roster will be a year older as the rest of the East’s elite improve exponentially.

D. Wade and Miami better wear some extra padding and bring a few helmets, because Indiana is bringing the pain.


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