The New York Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 88-76 on Sunday in convincing fashion to continue their dominance in the Eastern Conference.
While the Pacers are without their biggest star in Danny Granger (knee), the Knicks—led by the elite play of star small forward Carmelo Anthony—proved that they can play just as efficiently in the defensive zone and they can in the offensive zone.
Indiana played solidly in the second half and matched New York at both ends of the floor, but it was more about the Knicks taking their foot off the throttle. The Pacers trailed 41-30 at halftime and were never able to make up the ground they lost.
For the Pacers, the bright spot of the game was the continued emergence of Paul George as a viable scoring option for the team. While Indiana still needs to find another player to help George, when Granger returns, the Pacers will be dangerous.
As dangerous as Indiana can be when they get its top star back, imagine how great New York can be with a star like Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) back in the lineup. The Knicks sit at 7-1 on the season, but it has been without the one player that has given the support to Anthony that the team needs.
Every player who hits the floor for New York contributes to the effort, and the Knicks are arguably the most complete team in the league right now. Add in Stoudemire, and the Knicks will be dangerous all season.
For the complete box score, check out NBA.com.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
With 26 points, nine rebounds, two steals and zero turnovers, Carmelo Anthony proved once again just how talented he can be when he goes all-in for his team. That’s not to say he mails his effort in at times, but the All-Star has the tendency of getting complacent on the defensive end.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson has New York playing great at both ends of the floor.
While Anthony deserves immense credit for leading the team in scoring Sunday and guiding them to a win, the improvements the star has made in the defensive end have really turned the tide for the Knicks.
New York is a real threat in the Eastern Conference as long as Anthony continues to play as solidly in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone.
Up Next for Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers continue their road trip as they head to Washington to play the awful Wizards in what should be a great game to get the team heading in the right direction.
With a tough loss to the Knicks Sunday, Indiana’s defensive play is working fine, but the lack of an elite offensive player who can step up in Danny Granger’s absence is killing them.
Someone has to be the man to help Paul George.
Up Next for New York Knicks
After a day off, the New York Knicks will be traveling to New Orleans to square off against a Hornets team trying to overcome a plethora of injuries to big-name talent.
New York came up with a huge win over the Pacers Sunday, but it has been the play of Anthony and his defensive prowess that has the Knicks on the right track.
Add in the fact that New York will eventually get Stoudemire back, and the Knicks are legitimate contenders in the East.
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