The New York Knicks fell to the Indiana Pacers 81-76 Thursday night, in what can only be described as one of the ugliest games of the year.
The Knicks were short on scoring, as Carmelo Anthony was serving a one-game suspension for initiating a postgame confrontation with Kevin Garnett on Jan. 8 and Raymond Felton was still sidelined with a broken finger.
J.R. Smith certainly tried to shoulder the offensive load, but his low percentage output was one of the key reasons the Knicks never got anything going on offense. To be fair, New York didn't have many other options to help the shot-happy Smith, so his offensive aggression comes with a pretty decent excuse.
Defensively, the Knicks were just fine, holding the Pacers to 39.2 percent shooting on the night. But Indiana made New York play at its pace, which was a real issue for the normally freewheeling Knicks. Lacking a way to generate easy buckets, the Knicks scored just 14 points in the first quarter and 34 points in the first half, both of which were season lows.
As a team, New York hit just 34.8 percent of it shots.
The Knicks fell to 23-12 with the loss, while the Pacers won their ninth straight home game to inch closer to New York in the Eastern Conference standings. Indy's record now sits at an impressive 22-14.
Even though the horrible offensive game caused us to avert our eyes for long stretches, we still managed to compile grades for every Knick. Peruse them at your own ocular peril.