New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIMay 15, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    The Indiana Pacers are playing inspired basketball right now, and the same absolutely can't be said for the New York Knicks. 

    Game 4 ended with the Pacers gaining a 3-1 series lead thanks to a 93-82 beat down of the Knicks. 

    During the first half, in which the Knicks trailed 48-34 at halftime, the frustration was clear on Carmelo Anthony's face—as he scored 16 of the Knicks' 34 first-half points.

    It wasn't like 'Melo was jacking up a lot of more shots than everyone else. He shot 6-of-13 from the field through the first two quarters, which is rather efficient for 'Melo.

    The problem was that the rest of the Knicks shot 8-of-30 from the floor in the first half, and they let the Pacers abuse them on the glass—out-rebounding the Knicks 30-18 in that time frame.

    'Melo did all he could, with 24 points and nine rebounds, but once again, J.R. Smith let the Knicks down even though he ended with 19 points, because he shot an abysmal 7-of-22 from the floor.

    Paul George and George Hill led the way for the Pacers with 44 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists between them. 

    Game 5 is set for an 8 p.m. ET tip-off at Madison Square Garden. While the Pacers look like they're ready to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals, never count out the Knicks at home. 

Point Guards

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    Raymond Felton, PG Knicks

    Raymond Felton was the Knicks' second-best option throughout Game 4, ending the night with 14 points, five assists, three steals, two rebounds and two blocks. 

    Overall, Felton had a rather complete game, but he wasn't able to help the Knicks stay within striking distance early on.

    The Knicks needed Felton to be more aggressive getting into the paint and either scoring at the rim or dishing it to his teammates. He didn't do either of those in the first half, and that's a major reason why the Knicks only had 34 points at the end of the first half.

    Without Felton's performance though, the Knicks would've gotten beat by 20-plus points. 

    Overall Grade: B


    George Hill, PG Pacers

    The Knicks couldn't stop George Hill at any point in Game 4. 

    Even when the shot clock was winding down Hill was knocking down deep three-pointers to keep New York at bay. 

    He ended the night with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and while he turned the ball over four times, he made up for it with four assists.

    Hill was aggressive in the paint as well, which helped set the tone early for Indiana and honestly it looked like his aggressive play caught the Knicks off guard.

    One more dominant performance for Hill and the Pacers will be on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Overall Grade: A- 

Shooting Guards

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    Iman Shumpert, SG Knicks

    After just five minutes and 0-of-4 shooting, Iman Shumpert headed to the bench with his lingering knee injury, and stayed there until there was just under four minutes in the first half.

    While Shumpert tried to give the Knicks productive minutes, his knee just wouldn't let him.

    Shumpert ended Game 4 playing just 15 minutes and scoring a whopping zero points on 0-of-6 shooting from the floor.

    It's a shame to see Shumpert being held back by an injury, after emerging in the playoffs as a solid option for the Knicks. 

    Overall Grade: D-


    Lance Stephenson, SG Pacers

    After the Knicks had cut the Pacers' lead to just eight points early in the fourth quarter, Lance Stephenson went off for five-straight points that put the Pacers up double digits for good.

    Stephenson also protected the glass throughout the game, ending with seven rebounds.

    It's encouraging to watch Stephenson continue to mature. He's playing more efficiently and, most importantly, he's playing with a lot more discipline than he ever has.

    Last year he was putting up a choke sign to LeBron James. This year he's a major contributor, ending Game 4 with 13 points and seven rebounds. 

    Overall Grade: B

Small Forwards

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    Carmelo Anthony, SF Knicks

    The Knicks did nothing to support Carmelo Anthony in the first half, as he scored 16 of the Knicks' 34 first-half points.

    You could tell that 'Melo was extremely frustrated with the lack of support he got from his supporting cast, because he was getting them open shots off of the Pacers doubling down on him. 

    'Melo ended the game with only one assist, which shows just how awful the Knicks' outside shooting was, because he was getting his teammates open looks often.

    After a somewhat efficient start, 'Melo ended the night with 24 points on 9-of-23 shooting, while also grabbing nine rebounds. That's not terribly efficient, but it was impressive considering the double teams and tenacious defense he faced all night long.

    It's put up or shut up time for 'Melo as he tries to save the Knicks from elimination back at home in New York on Thursday. 

    Overall Grade: B


    Paul George, SF Pacers

    Paul George is slowly turning into a legitimate superstar in the NBA, and he continued to show that transformation in Game 4.

    In the first half alone, George dominated with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Yep, that's close to even surpassing the typical balanced production of the league's MVP, LeBron James.

    George just couldn't be stopped, and it was because he never lost confidence in the entirety of his game—which can't be said for everyone wearing a Knicks jersey not named 'Melo.

    He ended Game 4 with 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, and while he shot just 6-of-19 from the field, he made up for it with relentless intensity on the defensive side of the ball.

    Overall Grade: B+

Power Forwards

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    Kenyon Martin, PF Knicks

    I'm not quite sure what happened to Kenyon Martin in Game 4.

    He was his typically strong defensive self in the paint, with two blocked shots and physical play throughout. But his offensive production just wasn't there.

    Martin scored zero points on 0-of-2 shooting, and he also grabbed just four rebounds all game.

    The Pacers' physical play certainly got under Martin's skin early which kept him from getting into any kind of groove on the offensive side of the ball. 

    Overall Grade: D+


    David West, PF Pacers

    Much like Kenyon Martin, David West simply couldn't find his groove on offense—mainly due to the Knicks' insistence on doubling down on him every time he touched the ball.

    Unlike Martin, West was still able to impact the game in different ways—including nine rebounds, three assists and a steal.

    While West didn't have a solid offensive game—shooting just 3-of-9 from the field—his defensive pressure in the paint made life miserable for Carmelo Anthony on switches, making him truly earn every single one of his points.

    The Pacers are proving to be an impressively deep team, which is why West could afford to have an average game and still help Indiana get the win. 

    Overall Grade: C+


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    Tyson Chandler, C Knicks

    Tyson Chandler put together an impressive performance, with 12 points, 10 rebounds (seven offensive) and three blocks. 

    While his seven offensive boards were impressive, his inability to grab defensive rebounds was a major reason why the Pacers dominated New York throughout Game 4.

    His defensive rebounding woes are a mixture of spacing and an inability to get a body on Hibbert. Even though he blocked three shots, his defense just wasn't cutting it against the Pacers aggressive offense. 

    If the Knicks stand any shot of winning Game 5 at MSG, Chandler absolutely must find a way to dominate—and I mean dominate—the defensive glass.

    Overall Grade: B-


    Roy Hibbert, C Pacers

    The Knicks doubled down on Roy Hibbert every single time he touched the ball in the first half, and it sort of paid off as Hibbert scored just four points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field. 

    Unfortunately though, the Knicks couldn't keep Hibbert off the glass, as he grabbed eight first-half rebounds (four offensive). 

    Hibbert's tenacity on the glass frustrated the Knicks early on, and it led to a number of technical fouls drawn against Hibbert's defenders. 

    Overall, Hibbert had a rough offensive night, with just six points on 2-of-8 shooting. But he made up for it with aggressive rebounding, grabbing 11 rebounds (six offensive). 

    Hibbert also dominated the paint on defense—holding the Knicks to just 26 total points in the paint.

    Overall Grade: B

Sixth Men

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    J.R. Smith, SG Knicks

    Ever since his suspension for elbowing Jason Terry in the grill, J.R. Smith hasn't been close to the player he was during the regular season.

    In the first half, Smith shot an atrocious 1-of-8 from the floor—including 1-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. As usual, he didn't do anything else either, grabbing just a single rebound in the entire first half. 

    While he ended up scoring 19 points, most of that production came late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. He shot a miserable 7-of-22 from the floor and 3-of-10 from beyond the arc.

    Smith did give the Knicks a glimmer of hope as he caught fire for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, which hopefully means he snapped out of his shooting slump. Only time will tell, but the Knicks certainly need that to be true.

    Overall Grade: C+


    D.J. Augustin, PG Pacers

    D.J. Augustin brought something to the floor that the Knicks couldn't, and that was efficient offensive production. 

    In the first half, Augustin scored seven points on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor. That production was good enough to outscore the entire Knicks' bench throughout the first two quarters.

    Augustin continued the efficient production throughout the night with 11 points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field, and 6-of-6 shooting form the charity stripe.

    Overall, Augustin had a productive night, which helped solidify the Pacers attack throughout the game. 

    Overall Grade: B-


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    New York Knicks Bench


    That's really the only word that aptly describes the Knicks' bench performance throughout the first half of Game 4. Their bench totaled 30 minutes of action and scored just five points on 2-of-12 shooting.

    Jason Kidd continued to be invisible, failing to score a single point throughout the entire series so far. 

    While the Knicks' bench ended with 32 points on 11-of-30 shooting, a majority of that came when the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter.

    Mike Woodson needs to put Chris Copeland and Steve Novak into Game 5 earlier than he did in Game 4, because they are going to be integral to solidifying an underwhelming Knicks' bench.

    Overall Grade: C+


    Indiana Pacers Bench

    Sam Young nearly outscored the entire Knicks bench in just four minutes in the first half, with five points on a perfect 2-of-2 shooting performance.

    Efficiency was the name of the game for the Pacers bench, as they scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting through the first 24 minutes of Game 4.

    They cooled off in the second half, scoring just nine additional points, ending Game 4 with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor.

    Their efficiency was a major difference maker though, as was the defensive intensity that they brought to the floor.

    Overall Grade: B